Geo: 59.6425, -151.548
We woke to a spectacular sunny morning in Homer, with a wonderful view of the snow-capped mountains across the Kachemak Bay from our motel - a perfect present on Janet's birthday. It was a far cry from how we started yesterday's ride out of Girdwood.
The skies were grey and overcast when we left the Alyeska Hotel in Girdwood. We continued on Hwy 1 to the end of the Turnagain Arm, where the Portage Glacier partially showed itself from under the low clouds. Passing the turnoff to Whittier, we continued on the Seward Hwy winding west and south to the Hope Highway, where we took the 20 mile detour up to the old mining village of Hope on the south shore of the Turnagain Arm. The town is a quaint collection of homes and buildings from the 1890 gold rush era. We stopped for lunch, then retraced our route along Six Mile Creek, back onto Hwy 1.
We passed the junction of Hwy 9, where Seward Hwy becomes the Sterling Hwy and drove along the Kenai River to the town of Kenai along the mouth of the river. The clouds started to break up as we arrived
in the town, where we stopped at an overlook to watch locals catching salmon with large, round dip nets on long poles. The use of these nets, about 48" across, is restricted to local residents and members of Alaskan Indian tribes. In the distance we could barely make out the peaks of the Mt. Redoubt volcano across Cook Inlet.
We continued southwest, stopping at several wildlife viewing areas along the peninsula. It wasn't until we were about 12 miles outside of Homer that we had our first moose sighting. A few miles down the road we saw several more moose at a distance along the Anchor River.
As we crested a hill and descended toward the outskirts of homer, the mountain peaks across the Bay appeared to be sprouting from the low clouds along the shore. After checking in at our motel in Homer we ventured out to the Spit, a narrow strip of land that extends out into the bay for several miles. Here we found a large RV camp site, a marina, numerous shops, fishing and bear watching charters, and a good selection of seafood restaurants and bars. After checking out the famous Salty Dawg Saloon (every surface
Main Street Hope
Old Main Street Hope
covered with signed dollar bills), we had the best halibut of our trip at Captain Pattie's Fish House. By the time we finished dinner, the clouds had blown away and we had our first clear view of the mountains in the fading light.
Today we had excellent visibility and warm sunny skies as we headed out to the Spit again after breakfast to see more of the area. At Land's End Resort, we sat out on the deck, enjoying the sunshine over coffee and the awesome views across the water. Later we took a ride along the East End Road and took more photos of the mountains and the Grewingk, Portlock, and Dixon glaciers along Kachemak Bay.
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