Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 109-111--August 14-16, 2013

          After three days of cleaning, washing, restocking supplies, half of a day in a repair shop for minor repairs and routine tune-ups (that's for the bus, not me), we arrived in Homer.  This is my second trip to Homer.  If I had to pick, I would say Homer is my favorite town in Alaska.  It's grown a lot in five years.
          Homer has several nicknames.  One is The End of the Road and the Halibut Capital of the World.  We were told that a lot of the seafood from the Deadliest Catch television show is sold out on the Homer Spit. Dutch Harbor were the fishermen from the show work out of is located on the Aleutian Islands south of Homer, not reachable by road.
Kahemak Bay and the Homer Spit
Taken in 2008 on a sunny day
          For this visit, we came back to the same campground where we had stayed in 2008.  Our bus is only about 50 feet from the water with a field of fireweed.  BTW, the beautiful bloom as reached the top of their stalks.  Remember I said that is what the Native Alaskans use to know when summer is over.  I use it as a guide to know it is time to get the heck out of here before the snow starts to fly.

          Looking straight out my windshield I should be seeing the beautiful Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains with some glaciers right across the bay.  Unfortunately, fog rolled in last evening when we arrived and, that and rain has been going on all day.  I haven't even left the bus because it is nasty.  We will only be here a few days.  I hope it clears up enough for me to visit some of the craft shops, book stores, and bakeries.  Everything is close enough for me to walk while Richard visits with Lyle West.  He lives up on the hill above our campground.
          Since I haven't been out yet, I thought I'd post an excerpt from my 2008 blog when Jack and Jeannie Dickson was here with us.
          July 7, 2008–Monday, Jack had the oil changed in his motorhome in preparation for their trip back to the lower 48 on Thursday.  By noon, we were on our way to Homer.  None of us have ever been there so we weren’t sure what to expect.  We arrived around 3 in the afternoon. 
          What a beautiful place!!!  I love one of their mottos--It’s a quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem.
           Homer is located on the Kenai Peninsula on Kachemak Bay.  Across the bay are the Kenai Mountains with several glaciers spilling into the bay from the Harding Ice Field.  The town’s most noted feature is the Spit, a 4.5 mile long gravel bar which extends into the bay.  That’s where Homer’s harbor is located.  The 92-year-old gentleman, Lyle, who took the guys dipnetting out of Chitina lives in Homer.  He is in Fairbanks until Wednesday evening processing the salmon he and his gang caught during the fishing trip.
          We were told that if we drove to the end of the road, when the pavement ends, keep going and we would eventually come to a Russian Village.  We went down a God-awful road, single lane, mud and rock.  We came to a place where there were several cars parked.  The road went on, but it was almost straight down drops.  We parked and Richard and Jack walked a little ways down the road.  When they came back, they told us they had talked to a couple of young women who were driving out from the village.  They were married to Russians who lived there and were dressed in native garb reminicient of the Amish.  Their dresses and scarves are made from very pretty material. 
          They said we could drive down to the beach and we’d be able to see the 40 or so houses in the village, but it was posted no trespassing and we couldn’t enter.  We discovered that some of the cars parked where we were belonged to village residents, but the cars didn’t have 4-wheel drive so they couldn’t be driven to thevillage.  The other cars belonged to people who had decided to hike down to the beach.
          So, we decided to make the drive down.  We passed several people who where gasping for breath as they climbed the (I’m guessing here) 20% grades.  We went a long way down, rounding switchbacks, dropping into the depths of what felt like and could possibly have been, the bowels of hell!!
          Suddenly we came to a place where you could switch back to the left or round a blind bend to the right.  We chose the right only to encounter what appeared to be a straight drop over a cliff.  By this time my equalibrium was spinning and I begged to get out of there.  After about a 6 point turn around, which Richard did with great expertise, we drove back up to the place where the other cars were parked.  There we compared a few notes with survivors of the trip down the mountain and we drove back to Homer, vowing to never try that again.
Until next time,

No comments:

Post a Comment