Next stop – Homer! Another beautiful coastal Alaskan town and one we think we might actually be able to live in. It has enough amenities like the lower 48, with the Alaskan beauty and charm we’ve gotten used to. This town appeals to most everyone and we understand why after our week-long stay.
I’m going to cover food first since it comes up three times a day no matter where you are. The campground recommended a few spots, including a steakhouse, and we’ve got a hankering for steak. They noted that it was Alaska and not as swanky as the lower 48 places. Maybe not in the decor department, but AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse & Tavern had fantastic food and the ambiance to go with it.
We’re counting this meal as our celebratory ‘going full-time RVing’ dinner. It has only taken us six months to find the perfect meal! Anyway, food was good, but so was Johnny B on the piano. Loved, loved the music. And the wait staff – so good. One waiter walked around the restaurant introducing 5-week-old baby Scarlett to the other diners so Mom and family could actually eat their dinner hot out of the kitchen.
And the place we went for lunch and dinner (on different days of course). Alice’s Champagne Palace. Kind of a dive bar look on the inside, with champagne actually on the menu, and delicious food. Best hamburgers we’ve eaten besides the ones that Pat makes, plus skinny fries close to the ones we loved at the Greek place back in good ‘ole DeLand. The burger was so good that Pat had it again for dinner and I sampled the Rock Fish. Good on all fronts.
Finally on the food scene, we had Finn’s Pizza on the Homer Spit. Closest we’ve ever come to our favorite margherita pizza also in DeLand (Angelina’s for those who know the place). It was a bit different, but just as good and served on the back porch overlooking Kachemak Bay and glaciers. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Can you tell we love to eat out? Well we do, and this trip has tested us. You can eat out alright, but a lot of places are extremely expensive and not so good. Homer was still expensive, but oh so good.
Our camp host recommended we head up to Skyline Drive for some grand views of the area. Definitely worth the drive.
The town of Homer is on the mainland, but the Spit is the place for the marina, touristy shops and restaurants. We learned that a spit, as far as land masses go, is a “narrow coastal land formation that is tied to the coast at one end”. This according to Britannica.com. And you thought Britannica died with the mound of encyclopedias from your childhood. Anyhoo, it is also a deposition sandbar in most cases and usually where there are strong in and out currents. This place has quite the tide and the water rises and falls as much as 28 feet. Definitely enough action to build up a land mass.
This shot was taken on our drive and with what I thought were Queen Anne’s Lace in the foreground. Turns out those big white flowers are Cow Parsnip and they have a photosensitive chemical that can cause a rash and blisters if you are sensitive to it. Our camp host had a nasty set of scabs to show for his contact. Glad we know and are now steering clear on our hikes.
The town of Homer with Cook Inlet going on forever in the background.
Glaciers in view from Homer across Kachemak Bay.
One more new word for us – Fen. This picture doesn’t look terribly exciting, but showcases a local fen, or wetland made from a buildup of peat. Water continually flows through a fen and moose particularly love them. We were hopeful, but alas, no moose today. Just the mushy fen.
Our outing without Jackson was a drive further East of town to the Eveline State Recreation Site and home of a lovely Alpine trail. We’ve noted that the treeline seems to be at a much lower elevation the further North we go. Thus, we don’t have to go too high to get stunning views and feel as those we are in an Alpine meadow.
I’m hearing that Sound of Music song again….
We also strolled around at sea level on the spit and enjoyed the harbor sights.
Ships of all shapes & sizes, and smooth stones washed up on the beach.
And the view out the front window of the motorhome. Caught sight of this one evening as we were cooking dinner and I flew outside with my camera.
Zoomed in of course, but perfect cinder cone of Mt. Augustine across Cook Inlet. Another active volcano.
This is also Jackson’s trip of a lifetime, so we try to find good places for him to visit. Since dog-friendly beaches are rare, we were happy to learn of Bishop’s Beach. Dogs are welcome and run free!
Lots of good smells here and my goodness, the view.
Our campground is at the top of those rocky cliffs in the distance.
Tracks – dog, man and the tide
Normally we don’t let Jackson off leash since he is a lulu brain and we’re pretty sure he’d take off for parts unknown. Since we were off to ourselves at this point and it was a loooong way anywhere, we decided to give him a moment of freedom.
That is one happy dog! He came back to us twice and then was done in for the day.
This was also my dental cleaning stop with a good story behind it. I went for my checkup in January and asked my DeLand dentist if he would share x-rays with other dentists as we traveled so I could keep up with cleanings. Of course. He knows I’m going to Alaska and says if I’m going to be in Homer in July when I’m due for cleaning again, I can go see Dr. Richardson’s son. That would be Dr. Richardson, my childhood dentist, who used to own the DeLand practice. Not only did Dr. Richardson take care of my teeth, he took care of my parents, Cecil & Eloise, as well. So believe it or not, I go to see his son, also Dr. Richardson, in Homer, in July. Small world indeed.
Coming soon….Homer Part 2 – Eagles, Halibuts & Whales, Oh My! See you on the way!