Brendan and Marcia's Travel Pictures

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Location: United States

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Bike ride on the Spit.

View from our RV Park looking across Katchemak Bay.

The fog on Prince William Sound.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hello from Homer

Hey Everyone,
We’ve been in Homer for a week + now and prior to that we were in Valdez, and Seward. All 3 are very busy port towns and all have access to the Alaska ferry system. Of the 3 I’d have to say that Homer is my favorite followed closely by Valdez. Seward didn’t do much for me, it gives a feeling of being too closed in and their bike paths are non-existent. The city seemed to maybe be creating some sort of bike path system which was a mess and the town’s roads were torn to pieces as well. As a consequence of that, there was absolutely nowhere to ride (on paved or even packed dirt). Additionally the trailer park was outside of town and the road to it from the highway was abysmal. While we are visiting any given town I like parking in the heart of the city. It was ok, but Valdez and Homer are spectacular.

Homer is located on Kachemak Bay at the end of the Kenai Peninsula. The general area is ringed by 6 volcanoes (The Ring of Fire) 2 or 3 of which (can’t get a straight answer) are considered active and one of which (Augustine) is actually currently smoking. We can see it on a clear day right from our RV park. We can also see the glacier at the head of and across the Bay from the RV park 180 degrees from the volcano view. It’s pretty darn spectacular. One unique geographic aspect of Homer is the “Spit”. The Homer Spit juts out into Kachemak Bay about 3 miles and is about 300 yards wide. There are charter businesses, local craft & gift shops, restaurants, Alaska Ferry system deep water Homer port, a multitude of RV Parks, as well as many other businesses. It’s really cool and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

One day we went on a kayak tour across the Bay to a small basically unpopulated cove called Jackaloff Bay. We got across using a “water taxi” that serves the populace here. There are some full time residents across the Kachemak Bay but just about the entire “other side” is state park. There are no roads or bridges that go there, hence to proliferation of “water taxis”. There are several small communities “over there” too. These communities have taken shape where there were once herring canneries. The herring are all gone now but the current residents have made what is left into an artist community. There are also several very small independent fishing communities scattered about on the meandering shoreline too. Both groups need to come back to the mainland and the “water taxis’ support that. We paddled around the shore of the state park and did a brief open water crossing from one bay point to another. During our paddle we saw many birds, a sea otter and, very briefly, a porpoise. Again it was beautiful. I was apprehensive because I could never quite get my balance and falling into these waters seemed like a very bad idea. Marcia did great of course. At the end of the tour we were both very tired but it was a great experience. On a different day we took a nice bike ride out to the end of the Spit. It was a 13 mile round trip and with the wind blowing it was a good workout.
We’ve driven out to the end of the Spit any number of times and on trip while driving back a bald eagle flew right next to the truck for a mile or more, we got some great pictures of that.
Of course there is a float plane lake, an airport and numerous docks/slips and piers right near by and there are numerous charter services (flying, floating, and boating) for Alaskan Halibut and Salmon fishing trips, all of which are pretty expensive. Since neither of us are fisher-folk we opted to buy our fish at one of the landings on the Spit. I now make a fantastic “salmon salsa” that sounds weird but is really delicious.
The weather has been the best of our entire journey here. Clear, warm, no rain. During our time here we got to experience one of the lowest (and subsequently highest) tides in months too. I think it was more than a 20 ft difference. Marcia went for a walk while the tide was out and did some ”tide pooling”. She got some awesome shots of some very colorful gooey things during that outing.

I had to do some repairs on the 5th wheel due to a valve failure on the septic tanks. I put new diamond plate (0.08”) skirting where some VERY flimsy sheet metal and sheetrock corner bead had been employed for the cosmetic cover for the tanks. It was pathetic craftsmanship, a joke really, and it literally depended on painted tape for much of it’s “structure”. I’ll redo more of it when we get back to the lower 48. Diamond plate is pretty expensive around these parts. So for now just the one side is has been replaced.

Ok, I guess that’s enough for now. We are well, happy, and of course still in awe of the beauty and majesty that exists up here in the last frontier.
Brendan and Marcia.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Happy Campers

Here are some pictures from our recent adventures.

This picture with the purple flowers (Lupine) was taken from the bike path on the Homer Spit.

The eagle was soaring right beside the truck as we drove back to Homer from the Spit.

This is the beach outside of our RV Park in Homer.
We saw the Sea Lions while cruising in Prince William Sound out of Seward.