Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Alaska: Homer


Drove down to Homer today to wander around the harbor. At 225 miles one way it makes for a long day but the harbor is even bigger than Seward’s and driving out on Homer spit is quite interesting. There’s even a campground right out at the end of the spit, not that I did any camping but it’s good to know I could if I had the right gear.

On the way there I was tempted to take a side trip up Hope highway to the small communities of Sunrise and Hope on the south side of Turnagain Arm. The village of Hope, the last time I was there anyway, had a single commercial enterprise that was cafĂ©, hardware, autoparts and grocery store combined. You might be sitting there eating a hamburger and have someone reach over your head for a can of beans on the self behind you.

At the very end of the road, just beyond Hope, is the trailhead for Gull Rock trail that hugs the coastline weaving through an old-growth forest. Gull Rock itself sticks out into the water at the junction of Cook Inlet and Turnagain arm and if you look hard you can find three different geological survey markers cemented into the rock here. One was placed there because the original, still in place, shifted many feet to the southwest during the 1964 earthquake and I can’t remember what the third one is all about.

But Homer and back in a day is more than enough so I reluctantly gave Sunrise and Hope a pass.

On the way down I stopped for gas in Soldotna, right on the Kenai River, and commented on the number of people around.  The woman at the gas station told me that this was nothing.  That King Salmon season ended on July 31st and up until then it was wall to wall people!  They call it combat fishing because there are so many people, literally shoulder to shoulder, trying to cast lines into the river that only the strongest and meanest can actually catch fish. Glad I missed that.

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