The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homer and the Homer Spit

IMG_5396Like our time in Seward, we found a wonderful campsite on the city-owned Homer Spit beach campground overlooking Kachemak Bay.  The “Spit” is actually a 4.3 mile gravel bar that juts out into the bay on one side and Cook Inlet on the other side.    It is located at the very tip of the Kenai Peninsula.
Our site was on the bay section and was more protected from the winds that came and went during our 4 night stay.  Watching the tide go in and out was fascinating.
According to the Milepost book, the Spit dropped 4-6 feet during the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake.  Many of the buildings were destroyed and those that survived were elevated or moved to higher ground.
A modern dock facility is home to commercial ships, ferries, charter fleets, and personal craft.
IMG_5420Halibut fishing attracts a big crowd on charters or standing along the shore of the local “fishing hole”.
IF you are successful, there are plenty of places where they will photograph, filet, package, freeze and ship your catch anywhere in the world.  The largest fish caught on this charter weighed in at 40 lbs.  We’ve heard of much larger catches.  The seagulls and eagles also love the fish cleaning stations.
One of the more colorful business on the Spit is the “Salty Dog Saloon”.  The moment you walk through the door you will notice its unique décor – money (and occasional bras, thongs, and boxers).

Of course we had to add a signed dollar from the CoolRVers (it is on a corner post if you are headed to the restrooms).
Back in the town of Homer, there were plenty of places to take in the scenery.  Our traveling partner Frank King has become our exploring navigator and he and Gloria found wonderful back roads that gave us panoramic views of Homer, Homer Spit, glaciers, and volcanoes.  (I was even able to grab a geocache near the glacier overlook.)
We also found time to visit the local Pratt Museum and the Alaskan Islands & Ocean Research Center.

Eating Out
IMG_5373Our first eating out experience was a dud. We went to the Harbor Grill and had poor service, my grilled halibut was late, not seasoned, and the red potatoes were half-cooked. The others had only “okay” meals and everything was expensive! No recommendation for this place.
On the other hand, we had excellent, affordable steak dinners (ribeyes, salad, baked potato and garlic bread for $22) at the Homer Elks Club.  On Friday night we had eight Escapee Club members gather at 5:30 so we could get great tables overlooking Cook Inlet. (The gang even noticed how clean the wall of windows were!)  We had a fun waitress (and her young daughters helping out), food came exactly as ordered, tasted great, and we got separate checks without a hassle.  She even took our group photo.  We didn’t leave until 8:30 p.m.
Pictured clockwise:  Tom/Paula Nankivell, Judi/Gene Curp, Luke/Judy Rinehimer, and Gloria/Frank King. We are all traveling in Alaska, reading each other’s blogs and keep running into each other.
Evening Scenic Shots
I have written many times about the long daylight hours we have experienced in the Land of the Midnight Sun.  Well, now that we have passed the summer solstice, the days are getting shorter and we are almost getting sunsets.  The following shots were taken around 11:30 pm when the sun was dipping below the local mountains on one side of us and the full moon was rising on the other.
Camped along the shoreline we saw plenty of sea otters, an occasional sea lion, and plenty of gulls and other marine birds.  But my overall favorite bird is the majestic Bald Eagle. 
IMG_5617These two eagles were sitting on a light pole near the fish cleaning station in our campground as we were getting ready to pull out.  (There were two more eagles across the street at the same time.) 

Shadow and eagleFrank snapped a photo of his dog Shadow studying an eagle just sitting on a local log.  Shadow was smart enough not to become “lunch” for this bird.

And this mama bald eagle may be the most photographed bird in Alaska.  Her nest is at a stop light right on the Sterling Highway and next to a parking lot (and RV dump station).  There are babies in the nest but they were not popping up while I was there.

NEXT:  Day Cruise to Seldovia


michael ultra said...

That was a really CooL post. (pun intended)esp the eagles!

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

Makes me want to go back.

Sue and Doug said...

nice post and some spectacular scenery!!..so glad you are enjoying your Alaskan adventure!!