If you were my guest here in...
If you were my guest here in Homer, Alaska. I would first take you down to the harbor and out in the boat for a halibut fishing trip in Kachemak Bay first thing in the morning when the water is like glass and the mountains, glaciers and volcanoes are crisp with the new light of day. They nearly surround you as you fish in the quiet. We could then cross the bay, check out the beach creatures before we hike up to Grenwink Glacier. After the glacier hike we would boat back accross the bay with the sunset painting the mountains pink. When we moved 600 miles from Fairbanks to Homer in November of 2000. There were 3 of use plus 2 horses and a kitten. The roads were bad and the trip took 3 days. When we crested the hill to come down to Homer the sun was shining, the roads were clear and dry. We felt like we were HOME at last!
I got a roof over my head
In Homer, I do believe I saw more trailers and trucks with campers than houses and apartments. These trailers and campers could be parked anywhere. Got an extra 20 square feet of dirt? Perfect living space for a camper and family of 4 and a couple of dogs.
There is something refreshing about a place that is laid back enough that they won't try to regulate where campers and trailers can be set up. In my neighborhood, I can't even set out my recyclable bins on a non-trash day without the neighbors complaining.
The simpler, laid-back lifestyle of Homer definitely has its appeal.
Typical street scene in Homer
What Homer lacks in curb appeal, it certainly makes up for in originality. This is a typical street scene in downtown Homer. Don't expect neat condominium buildings on top of a 24 Hour Fitness. Or a cute little western gold rush town. Or even a main drag that could double as a set for "American Graffitti". Downtown Homer reminds me of the worst of the worst California urban sprawl, sans any kind of planning or any kind of building codes. In a way, it is kind of refreshing. This is what an American town would look like without any government bureaucrats telling you what to do. And if there is anywhere in the US where people aren't going to give a rats ass as to what a bureaucrat would say anyway, it would be Alaska. This photo was taken on Pioneer Avenue, which probably would qualify as Homer's main drag outside the Spit. Pictured here is the 2-2 Tango, a hair and nail salon next to Funky Planet, a women's clothing store, next to the Homer movie theatre that looks more like a hardware store. I have to give Homer credit - they were playing the latest releases - Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Cinderella Man.
Meet other travellers, old friends, or new
We met the ferry, M/V Tustemena, to continue our trip to Kodiak, and who was on board? Gretchen. If you don't know Gretchen, check out my Alaska, Chena Hot Springs, or Anchorage pages to meet my travelling buddy. Gretchen has left Kodiak and moved to Homer. So this was a bitter-sweet meeting. But it is always good to see friends. If you visit Homer, and run into Gretchen, say "Hello" for me. And be sure to jump on the ferry and come to Kodiak to visit myself, Herzog63, and Dustylane.
Alaska Marine Highway
P.O. Box 703, Kodiak, AK 99615
It's another world
Homer is a great place for water activities in the summer - boating, clamming, kayaking, king salmon and halibut fishing. But what is really like to live in Homer?
These classified ads actually appeared in the Homer Tribune (with my editorial comments duly noted):
Wanted: Vehicle sound mechanically/don't care about looks, under $800 (Note: describes 80% of vehicles in Homer)
Wanted: Lg. dog to walk with me (Note: probably good for scaring off the moose).
Wanted: Driver for extra car (Note: most people would have the extra driver first, THEN get the extra car.)
Wanted: Responsible couple (no smoking, pets), to housesit starting Spring 2006 for periods up to 6 mos.
Lost: Alum. ramp for snow machine trailer (Note: Are these big and how do you lose one?)
For sale: Fishermen, need a Penn reel? I have 3 I don't need (Note: Maybe he should be posting a want ad for 3 extra fishermen instead?)
For sale: Traditional style coffin, custom lined, locally made, $750 (Note: Hmmmmmm.....)
For sale: Dry suit, lg. Nokia 'Amron", never used, $600.
For sale: Fax machine, just needs hooking up and your operation, $30 (Note: Needs hooking up? I'll be damned! So THAT's why mine hasn't been working...)
For sale: White picked' fence, $16 (Note: Can you just take this from one house and put it around another?)
For sale: Hard hat and flagging vest, orange hard hat used only slightly, and vest never
For sale: Star semi-auto 9mm pistol w/13 round magazine, $300; .54 cal. CVA Hawken muzzleloader, $175; both guns in exc. cond., shot little. (Note: Shot little what?)
Storage room sale: Lots of good stuff for homeschooling
For Sale: Like new kitty litter box, comes w/brand new scooper, $16 (Note: I'm sold! That new scooper is just the enticement I need for this!)
Free: Kittens, 2 black, 1 tiger striped, also black adult female, “great mousers”
I'm still puzzling over what happened to the person who was supposed to go in the custom-lined coffin...