Dang! What can I say about Homer, Alaska? Superlatives don’t do justice to the view driving across the last hill and descending at last into this small town 4 1/2 hours south of Anchorage. From there you can see the whole of the Homer spit, a few hundred feet wide, and jutting out 2 miles into the bay. Further across the bay you can count the glaciers as far as you can see north and south, in Kachemak Bay State Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park.
The spit is developed, at least in the Alaskan manner, with an abundance of tiny but wonderful restaurants, a few rough gift shops, and every kind of fishing related business from charters to commercial fish processing plants, and services that clean, filet and freeze what you catch yourself. Camping is plentiful and lots of places are free if you don’t opt for power, water and sewer hookups. And for all that, much of the spit road is bordered by the pebble beaches you can walk to watch the eagles, and the 25’ tidal rise and fall every six hours.
Kachemak Bay is “the halibut capital of the world”, and so we brave high prices to feast several times in the four days we have. Homer itself is also a beautiful homey town with a really thriving arts community meant for more than just the tourists. It seems like all the personal stories we hear from folks around here have a common theme of “… I came here ( insert reason for coming) … and just never found a reason to leave”. Thanks to the warm currents from Japan, the winters in Homer, although dark, are nevertheless very mild.
We ride the bike trails up and down the spit and soak up the scenery and the sunny weather and of course we walk the docks looking at the fishing boats. Then we drive back through Anchorage to suit up for the long road south and say our goodbyes to the family. We’ll stop in Valdez a couple days on the way out, and then strike out across the Yukon with a resolution to return again and spend more time in this amazing place.