What a Gift!
~Monday, August 15, 2022~
Day 56 of Alaska Trip
Having a city parking lot as your campsite certainly makes for looser camping rules which can be a good thing when it comes to a carefree pup, but not so good when your neighbor (the full-timer on the other side of us), has decided to run his generator all night long. When Jeff mentioned to our other neighbor Jordan that we were blessed with this annoying humming sound most of the night, Jordan said as if he were the mayor on the block, “Now I’ve told those ‘kids’ (20-something year-olds) not to do that, especially since they only run it to charge their cell phones.” Our guess is they also use it for heat. But one thing’s for sure…..I’d much prefer the sound of waves on the beach over an annoying generator sound anyday.
We spent a good chunk of our day strategizing our time in Homer and of all things, our stay in Florida in February of 2023. As I’ve mentioned before, Florida is one of our most dreaded states to find lodging in because of the difficulty in getting what you want. And today was no different. Everybody wants to be in the “Sunshine State” during those ever popular winter months. We must have wasted 3 or 4 hours of a good weather day with unsuccessful attempts in finding any decent campsite whatsoever. We’ll try our research another day when the weather’s not so nice.
Though we had some success planning our Homer itinerary, we got a little reality check on the other excursions we had in mind. One was the fishing charter. As you may know, Homer is known as the “halibut capital of the world”. Since Halibut is my favorite fish, I thought it would be fun to try our hand at catching our own. We thought about booking this sort of trip in advance, but didn’t want to risk a bad weather day. Well, all of the charters in our 3-day window were full. But it’s also pricey…..$400/person during peak season, which is what we’re in. With the price of gas these days and the fact it’s an all-day excursion, maybe the cost is in line. The other outing we were interested in was visiting Seldovia, a charming seaside town filled with boardwalks and incredible views. Only accessible by ferry or seaplane, the roundtrip cost…… $185/person for the 45-minute ride over (includes the $15.00/person fee to bring your bike over). But here’s the frustration…..the first ferry leaves at 11:00 a.m. (getting you there around noon), with only one return time of 4:30, back to Homer. If we’re going to spend nearly $400 over a visit to a charming city, we would at least expect a WHOLE day out of it, not just 4 hours. We’d prefer to put our money to better use…..so instead, we booked a water taxi service through 49North Alaska Adventures to Kachemak Bay State Park, also only accessible by seaplane or boat. Kachemak Bay is home to over 80 miles of trails that offer views of glaciers, lush rainforests, lakes and the scenic alpine ridges of the Chugach Mountain Range. We’re really looking forward to it. Like with most trips, there’s something that beckons us to see everything, especially when we don’t know when we’ll be back again. But it gives you a reason to certainly do so.
Just as we were wrapping up our “research” session, we got a knock on the door from our neighbor Jordan. He couldn’t wait to show us his treasures….a bag full of frozen fish from his personal freezer, all of which he caught himself in Kachemak Bay,
surrounding Homer. He said he has over 500 pounds of “game” in his home freezer and loves to be able to share it. I guess we were worthy. But where to put it all? Believe me, if it requires us to throw away a loaf of bread or package of chicken from the freezer, we’d do anything to make room for THIS stuff. We now have enough halibut and salmon to last us a month. Thankyou Jordan!
Jordan also gave us a recommendation for the best pizza anywhere……Finn’s Pizzaria. The online reviews were 5-star as well. Within walking distance from our campsite, we got there at a good time before the dinner hour and had the
best seat in the house….a corner floor to ceiling window seat overlooking the glistening bay thanks to the sun finally making its appearance. Not only is Homer known for amazing halibut, they’ve scored on their pizza making abilities as well. It was the best pizza we’ve ever had, taking note of all the ingredients so we could try and duplicate it at home. It was that good. The “Blue Pear” had a thin crust topped with olive oil, mozzarella, D’Anjou pears, pine nuts, gorgonzola, Grana (a type of hard cheese similar to parmesan) and basil. And as if our pizza wasn’t enough, two small cups of gelato at Carmen’s Gelato satisfied a few sweet tooths……..Jeff, a vanilla bean and me, sea salt caramel. Creamy goodness!
Even though we were a bit chilled after the ice-cream, we still managed to check out a few gift shops that remained open and the Salty Dawg Saloon,
recommended to us by our friends Katie and Wayne. Too full from our dinner and dessert, we’d have to give the saloon a try another night. But it was still fun to check out the funky, dollar bill laden interior. It’s been an Alaskan landmark since 1957, starting out as one of the first cabins built in the area in the late 1800’s. It was fun to also tour the harbor/marina. We even ran into the boat that would be taking us out to Kachemak Bay State Park tomorrow.
Even though we’re all experiencing the days getting shorter, the spectacle of dusky twilight for hours on end is changing dramatically since we arrived in the 49th state in early July. Since August 2nd, the midnight sun has closed its doors until next year, leaving us now to witness complete darkness by 11:00 p.m. at least for now. In the weeks to come as we head north into the interior of Alaska, the daylight will once again play tricks on us, extending our daylight hours once again.