Day Forty Seven: Seward to Homer

I was really excited about July 11th.  Homer was one of those places I was eager to visit.  And, my baby sister, her husband and mother in law were due to fly in to Anchorage late on July 10th, catch some zzzs and then drive down to Homer!

As anyone who has flown in the last decade knows, it’s not always an easy way to travel.  Unfortunately, their trip out to Alaska turned into a real nightmare.  They were supposed to fly from Indy to Chicago, Chicago to San Francisco, and SF to Anchorage.  A 9 hour delay in Chicago put that idea to rest, though United did fly them to SF eventually.  Yet, having missed their connecting flight, they had no option but to spend what was left of the night in a SF hotel then get up at 4am to catch a flight to Denver.  Which then had a connection to Anchorage.  So, I gave up the dream that I’d see them on my first day in Homer.

There’s no doubt that the drive from Seward to Homer is likely beautiful, most of the time.  This was not one of those times.  The fire was still raging strong, and a fire camp was set up in Soldotna, one of the bigger towns we had to go through to get to Homer.  There was a strong scent of smoke in the air, a thick haze, and the trees near the road to Homer had been burnt (it was an intentional backburn, from what I read later).  Definitely not a wonderful drive, but once closer to Homer and the winds off the ocean, the smoke cleared up.

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Driving north of Soldotna. Photo courtesy of Mary F.
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Backburn of trees near the road was done to keep the road open as much as possible. There aren’t a lot of choices in terms of routes. Actually, there’s really just one… Photo courtesy of Mary F.

The reason I was so excited about Homer, was that we were going to be camping on the Homer spit, which is a 4.5 mile piece of land that juts out from the mainland into Kachemak Bay.  It is the longest road into ocean waters in the world, according to Wikipedia.  Since it’s pretty narrow, we’d be camping on the beach with views to the north and the south.  And, oh man, it was really cool.

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View from the back of my campsite. Looking down onto the northern beach.
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There were a ton of bald eagles around. These two were waiting to see if the fisherman had any luck. Photo courtesy of Dave W.

But, beyond being excited about the beautiful view, I was excited to finally get to opportunity to bust out some items I’d brought on this long trip…..

KITES!

I have a variety of kites.  You should all know by now that I might turn 50 years old this year, but mentally I’m still in the tween stage.  Probably why I’m a pediatrician.  But, anyway, I got the trailer set up and immediately set about getting my kites out.  And, it turned out that other people really had fun with them too!

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Got the big octopus in the air first, with help from Wendy. Photo courtesy of Kathy R.
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Not the best flier by itself, the big octopus. But it’s cool looking. Photo courtesy of Kathy R.

After the octopus, I put up a big sled kite that could handle lots of line laundry.  And I loaded that puppy up!

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Spinners, tails, kite men, frogs. It was cool, but it pulled like a freight train!

Steve S. (WI) took the line for me while I added and subtracted items.  Then little Sherry R. came along and wanted to fly it.  I was pretty nervous, thinking she’d fly away with the whole thing.  But she did it!

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Steve was ready to grab her if she lifted off! On a side note, see my trailer up on the rise? I was right on the beach!
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She was surprised at how hard it all pulled.
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But she told me she enjoyed it, despite the faces.

We ended the evening with a fire on the beach.  I don’t have pictures of this night, but there will be some in the next day or two.  It was amazing just sitting around the fire, chatting about whatever while the waves rolled in just feet away.  And, since this is early summer in Alaska, it was light well after we were all exhausted and ready for bed.  My sister called me after they finally landed in Anchorage.  They drove to the VRBO they rented, with some stops along the way to stretch, and were safe and sound.  Great news to hear at the end of a wonderful day!

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