Thursday, July 1, 2010

Homer Alaska

We had a wonderful trip to this little harbor town which is 78 miles south of Soldotna.  An interesting place along this drive is Anchor Point. This  is the furthest west point of the highway system in America.  The journey down on the Sterling Highway provided us some wonderful views across Cook Inlet of the two volcanic mountains Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt. The tops of them were covered heavily with snow and clouds, quite possibly some of that was steam. Mt. Redoubt is active, it last erupted in 2009. Also on that drive we noticed many eagles soaring overhead. I guess it is not surprising that there are so many eagles around what with the many lakes, and rivers on the peninsula.  Lots of halibut and salmon are in those waters at this time of the year. In the picture below are two of those eagles sitting on some condos near the ocean.
When we reached the town of Homer we decided that the weather was very much in our favor, (the sun was out for a change), and that we should continue on to Homer Spit. That is land's end for the Kenai peninsula. It is a beautiful harbor completely surrounded by two mountain ranges.
Many tourists were out on the Spit boardwalk, and in the harbor fishing boats were coming and going. The boardwalk offers a variety of gift shops, charter services, food outlets,etc. We had an excellent lunch of fish and chips and, after walking the boardwalks and looking out over the harbor, we headed into the town of Homer. Homer is very much a quaint seaside town with historic buildings and charming small shops. We spent a good part of our afternoon at the Pratt Museum where there are artifacts of the pioneers and Native Americans of Alaska. Dispersed through out the museum is a variety of art pieces done by local artists. And, what we enjoyed most, was a video and ranger talk on the brown bears of Alaska. They have been filming a group of bears in a nearby river area and had  lots of stories to tell about them. Over time they have gotten to know these bears quite well and have even given them names. Alaska has one of the largest brown bear populations in the world. Below is stuffed bear which we saw in the museum. I did not realize how big they can get until I saw my brother Wayne standing next to that bear. And this was a young bear, eight years and weighing only 600 pounds.
In my next posting I will write about our trip home. It was quite interesting.

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