June 21 – Today is our travel day. We are headed toward Homer. Homer is only 127 miles away. It is the home of the Spit. The sun is really shinning. Can you believe this is the first time we have not had to wear our coats! PTL! The drive is beautiful as usual. This time there are snow capped volcano mountains and glaciers. As we passed the Russian River 20+ fly fishermen were circling the waters bend in their tall waders and vest having a great time fishing. I know Eddie H, Brian L and my brother-in-law Terry would have a field day doing this. We found the state park, Anchor Point, where we decided to stay. It had 5 different areas. So we park the Hilton4. We know 2 we were too long to stay in. So as the site hunter I needed to go and investigate. Lo decided he would come with me. Oh boy. I pull out of the parking lot and remembered I needed my purse out of the Hilton4. I circle back to get it. As we pull out of the parking lot again, Lo says “are you going to hit that pot hold again?” I tried to be nice and ignore him. I drive 200 more feet. “Lo says this road speed is 35MPH”. I look at him and say, “Obviously you want to drive.” He looks at me and knows it is on. He sheepishly says ok. No problem. Better he drive than I club him before we get a site. The site we got is next to the beach. We can look out the windows and see the Kachemak Bay. We drive the 15 miles into Homer to check it out. Found the Visitor Center. They provided wonderful tips on where to see the best parts of the city. We also check the Spit out and found a great bike trail. Maybe a ride tomorrow. We went up in the hills of Homer and saw the whole city, Spit, glaciers and Kachemak Bay. We will spend the day in Homer tomorrow.
Question of the day – What is a Spit? (And not the salvia kind) Well look it up and let me know your answer.
June 22 – Homer – We took our time getting up today. We decided that we would take the bike ride on the Spit path. It is 4 miles long. It is our 2nd sunny day. We thought it would be easier to park at the Spits entry and pedal down. Boy was this interesting. We saw old ships, cars, trucks that were abandon. On high tide some of these items would be covered up. The path was right next to the 2 lane road. Sometime the path was a bike lane on the road. This was a little scary at times because big trucks with boats and motorhomes were on the road next to us. We stopped at a fish cleaning area and saw 2 amazing bald eagles. One must have thought he as in Hollywood. He preened for all the cameras. Nobody was foolish enough to get too close. We also got a chance to meet a mother and daughter from Destiny, FL. They have been coming here for years to spend the summer clamming, mussel gathering and fishing. The father who is a retired dentist was halibut fishing. When I first heard the mom speak, I thought I was listening to my neighbor Louisa. I detected that Italian language right away. I found out that Stephanie the daughter had just graduated from dental school and was starting her first job as a dentist on July 9. She said she was a little afraid as this was her first major job. The mom and I laughed because we both knew she has no idea. She is young she will do well. Lo was watching halibut being fillet. Boy, there is an art to this job. You got to be strong and precise. We could not believe how the seasoned fishermen can fillet and leave nothing but the head, tail and bone. While others left so much meat that some watchers were able to take the leftover fish home to eat. We made it all the way to the end of the Spit fittingly called Lands End. On the way back we stopped at the little shops to check the deals out. Well, we are still awaiting the deals. The cost of the items was worse than Carmel. $159 for a faux Eskimo jacket that was from China. Really!! We stopped to check out how the fishing derby was going. Every fishing town as a derby. There was a person from So. Cally in the lead. Go Cally fisherman. Thought we would head back to the car. By this time lots of people were coming to the Spit for the weekend. The one thing we really liking about AK is everyone speaks to you. Every person we met on the path spoke. All the people in the fish cleaning area took time to hold a conversation. Amazing. We stopped and had dinner at Don Jose. On our way home we crested the hill and saw Mt. Redoubt, the volcano in the far distance. It is one of the four famous volcanoes in the area. (Mt. Douglas, Mt. Iliamna & Mt. Augustine are the others) We could not believe it. We had to go back to that hill to be sure. People told us on a clear day you could see it. Boy was it impressive. It last erupted in 2009. When we got home our neighbor was having problems getting his boat in his site. Lo was sitting in our window giving directions that only I could hear. Turn right, turn left, no stop. I told him to go help the guy since he knew what to do. Within minutes he had the guy in the site. Boy was I glad. We had sun down prayer at 8:00PM. No more waiting for that 12:00 AM for that sun to go down.
Question of the day – What are the four volcanoes called? Well look it up and let me know your answer.
Bonus Question of the day – What color is a Halibut? Well look it up and let me know your answer.
June 23 – Homer – It is Sabbath. Church is not until 3:00 PM so we decided to sleep late. Yahoooooo! 3rd sunny day. We went to the Alaska Island and Ocean Visitors Center. It is the wildlife and marine refuge center. The center really gives you an understanding of how the animals, birds and sea life survive. We saw how the fur trappers and whalers almost depleted the native animals. We saw videos on how the native people in the area lived and what they needed to maintain their existence. It is a shame on how they were treated. We found out about the Aleutian Islands. There are more than 250 islands. Most of these islands are not inhabited by people. There are different species of wild birds and fish on the islands. There are over two million birds. Researchers monitor the birds to determine how the sea life is surviving and how global warming is affecting the world. I guess global warming is more than we thought. Looking at glacier monitoring really makes one stop and think about what we are doing to the environment. Not trying to be an activist. Just saying. We were invited to the Homer church by Judith James whom we meet at camp meeting. This is a small church and she had asked Lo what we would like to do to help. He told her that I could sing. She asked him if I would. He said he thought so. What about him?? Hello!!! He was talking to her not me. So, I agree to singing. We had a good time meeting the members at the potluck. One of the members, Polly, was raised as from a Russian Orthodox. She gave us lots of info on her upbringing. She told us where we could find a Russian Orthodox community and it was the church she grew up in. Her uncle is the priest. We decided we would take a final tour of Homer. We drove all the way round the bay until the road turned to a final cliff. We found the Russian Orthodox Church. The priest was having a mass so we took pictures very silently and left. Took one last look at the beach and turned in.
Question of the day – What is name of the Refuge research vessel and what does it mean? Well look it up and let me know your answer.
June 24 – Today is a travel day. Ok. Here we go with the rain again. Back to the blue coats. We headed toward the Kenai Peninsula and stop in Soldotna. Of course we found the Visitor Center. Sara, the assistant, was very knowledgeable about the area since she grew up here. She is a language arts teacher during the year. I told her that our daughter was a teacher also. She told us funny stories about teaching and her kids. We took a tour of the cultural center. We got to see actual caught salmons, moose, bear hides, etc. I saw what a king crab looked like. I still don’t get why it is so popular. I guess this is why I am a veggie. We went to dinner at the St. Elias Brewery. They are known for the salads. One salad could feed a family. They also brew their own root beer. Of course Lo was in heaven. We stayed in the Lou Morgan State Park in Soldotna. We found out that there is a resident moose. She seems to not to have a care in the world and went about doing her regular things.
June 25 – Kenai – Still raining. We found out that the store Fred Myers allows RV to stay for 3 days. Well they beat out WalMart. They provide free RV dump and free water. They have certain rules. No leaving your kids and dogs all day in the RV alone. NO setting up the BBQ outside the RV. Well, they better be glad they don’t know my folk. That BBQ would be smoooooooking!!! We went to the Visitors and Cultural Center in Kenai. This is one of premium centers. They have a lot of cultural items from the different villages and lots of information on the dog trainers of the Iditarod’s. There are videos on everything Alaskan. We watch a very good video on what the Aurora Borealis really is. There are so many myths out there on how it appears. We took a tour of the historical Old Town and found another Russian Orthodox Church. It was built in 1894. We went inside and were able to speak with the priest. We told him we were SDA. He started laughing and said we were “half Christian” since we did not to do Sunday. He was full of info on the church and explained that he was married and had been in this parish for 4 years. He came from a village that is 400 miles away. It could only be reached by plane. The church is small but has many artifacts. One of the amazing items was the chandelier. It was almost as big as the church. The church was one of the buildings that survived the 1964 earthquake. We continued are tour and decided to take a drive along the coast. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we passed by one of the big companies I used to underwrite when I worked. Of course I had to take a pic and send to my friends where I used to work. Boy does that sound good. Use to work. We decided to stop and have dinner. We were told about a good restaurant. It is called Bucket Sports Grill. The food was good and they had great french fries. Everything was served in a bucket. Yummm. We called it a night and went home to watch Bucket List. How fitting.
Question of the day – What another name for the Aurora Borealis? Well look it up and let me know your answer.
Until next time Trackers. Keep a light burning for us.
Lo & Bren