Alaska Part XI , trip day 8; July 9, 2018
Have I mentioned that Alaska summers have a lot of daylight? We spent the entire day fishing on Spirit Lake and still had more than enough daylight for Brinn and Ian to return to the Kasilof River when we got back to our cabin. So after day of catching fish, they caught some more fish. We definitely were making good progress on our collection to bring home!
Bright and early after our usual vacation breakfast of toast, jam, eggs, and bacon, we hit the road for a day trip to Homer, halibut capital of the world. Our itinerary included a trip to the famed Homer Spit, a stretch of land at the tip of the Kenai peninsula which extends out into the Kachemak Bay. The entire spit is less than 5 miles long, and in some places, you can easily see both sides of the bay surrounding it.
Ignorantly, I assumed since we were moving further south we would be warmer. The first stop I begged for once we reached the spit was for me to run into a shop to buy a pair of wool socks to save my poor sandaled feet! I was flat-out a dummy. I should have known better after our chilly day on the lake, but I guess I was hoping to avoid getting sand in my shoes. So instead I got sand in a pair of wool socks!
The spit had a great variety of neat shops. We visited tons of markets to buy fresh or frozen seafood as well boutique type shops offering local art. Brinn and I selected a few cards to bring home and frame, but we haven’t quite gotten around to that just yet. I’ll bet the clothing stores made a killing selling socks, sweatshirts, and hats to gumby tourists like me!
After some shopping, we started weighing our options for lunch. Obviously the boys wanted fried halibut. When in Rome… We easily weeded out the few non fish options (there was actually a pizza place on the spit) but had a harder time deciding which place was for us. We ultimately ended up going with the Harbor Grill, largely for its location. The Harbor Gill was located right next to the dock, so Brinn was able to watching fishing boats come in and unload giant drums of halibut. The limit in Homer is only two halibut per person per day, but these fish were so big that a couple of people could bring home 80-100 pounds of fish from one trip! Grandpoppa and Brinn enjoyed their fried fish, as they should. It was likely the most expensive fried food any of us have ever had! I had shrimp, which was good, but not $30 good. Great experience, but not one we’ll likely repeat.
With full bellies, we stopped for a quick beach visit. Ian only made two requests when we were planning our Alaska trip: to ride behind sled dogs, and to go to the beach. We’d already accomplished his first request, so the second was easy enough. Down to the water we went. And for all that is holy, that may very well have been the coldest water I’ve experienced in my entire life. Ian settled into playing in the black sand with some of his toys while Brinn and I walked the water line, keeping him in our line of sight. We frequently had to step around giant piles of dead, squishy seaweed, and occasionally stop to grab a smooth stone for Ian’s rock collection. I only made it for about 45 minutes before I begged Ian to cut his beach trip short so I could return to the warm car!
Desperate to warm up, I was completely happy to spend some time exploring Homer by car. We did stop to view a glacier that extends into Kachemak Bay, and we even drove out to see the road that the Kilcher family (from Alaska: The Last Frontier) lives. After seeing a few more sights, we stumbled on the Pratt Museum. We stopped in here to learn more about the area, its activities, and its wildlife. Then we found a manicured trail right outside the museum, so Brinn, Ian, and I went hiking for an hour while Grandpoppa took a break and reviewed his museum photos.
After our hike, we were all ready to head back to our cabin and rest so that we could get an early start for our adventure to Whittier. Ian settled in to watch Balto for the 47th time. Grandpoppa laid down to read up on our drive to Whittier. Brinn returned to the river to get in as much salmon time as he possibly could. I did none of those things. Instead I jumped into a hot shower and tried to warm my core back up. After finally feeling like a mammal again, I drug a rocking chair in front of my bedroom window overlooking the Kasilof, wrapped up in blankets, and alternated between watching the river and reading. In my world, this is pretty much the recipe for a perfect evening.