Monday, July 11, 2016

Homer, AK - Stop 26 in our Trek North to Alaska

Wow, we hit the jackpot on Friday!  The weather was terrific: sunny, warm (for this area anyway), and clear skies for taking in the absolutely spectacular sights along Sterling Highway as we headed from Kenai to Homer.

Mt. Redoubt of the volcanic Ring of Fire

Mt. Iliamna of the volcanic Ring of Fire


Everything about our visit to Homer has been superb!  A 5-cheeser all the way around!

For starters, we had the most wonderful campsite within Baycrest RV Park.  It was right on the bluff overlooking Kachemak Bay, with terrific views of several volcanoes.  Surprisingly, it was a HUGE site, fitting both the rig and Big Boomer with ample space leftover for our picnic table, fire pit, and even our motorcycles!  Jim checked us in, and he was efficient, pleasant, and informative.   Finally, an RV Park that meets Rambling RV Rat’s exceptionally high standards for achieving a 5-cheese rating!

Huge sites at Bay Crest--big enough for both Big Boomer and the rig!


View from our campsite

Our sightseeing began earlier on Friday when we visited the Transfiguration of our Lord Russian Orthodox Church and graveyard in Ninilchik.  I can’t think of a better final resting place than one overlooking the Bay, surrounded by a white picket fence and fragrant wildflowers.  

Since we were traveling in the rigs, Dad and Mike parked in a huge lot off Sterling Highway, and Mom, Claudia, and I walked the ½ mile to the church.  You can imagine how pleasantly surprised we were to meet a little moose lady along the way!

Once settled in to the RV Park, we jumped on the bikes and headed down scenic East End Road, with its breathtaking views and curvy roads.  What a ride!

That evening after dinner Dad booked a halibut fishing trip for him and Mike on Sunday with Ninilchik Charters, one of the B-O-G-O offers in our Tour Saver book.  Meanwhile Mom got in her daily exercise by walking 4 miles along the Scenic Byway.  Me, I just breathed in the crisp, cool cottonwood-filled air and enjoyed the view from the campground.

Photo courtesy of Mom while walking along Scenic Byway

We enjoyed more motorcycling on Saturday, heading up Skyline Drive.

View from Skyline Drive. That strip of land jutting out is "The Spit"

We visited the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and walked down to the beach, viewing various birds and waterfowl in the estuary.  Homer is a bald eagle mecca—we viewed at least three dozen eagles during our visit to Homer, including a nest with a mama and her fledgling!

One of the dozens of eagles we saw in Homer.  Wish I had a Canon Telescopic Lens Camera instead of having to use a stupid Android phone camera!

Mama eagle guarding fledgling within nest

We stopped at the Farmer’s Market but didn’t stay long—the place was packed!  We headed down to Homer Spit, a stretch of land believed to be the remains of an ancient glacial moraine.  It is where all the docks, piers, boat/ship graveyards, and best seafood restaurants are located.  Our buddies Stephanie and Curtis from the M.O.C. joined us and Claudia/Mike for dinner at Captain Pattie’s.  It looks like a hole in the wall from the outside, but offers an absolutely delectable seafood dinner!  We all had “The Sampler”, which included prawns, scallops, halibut and salmon along with salad, one side dish, and sour dough bread.   All the fish was fresh, cooked to perfection, and melted in your mouth!  We sat on the enclosed back porch, which offered us fantastic humpback whale, seal, and eagle sightings!  Plus the prices were quite reasonable and the portions large enough to satisfy even my Dad’s hefty appetite.  And to top it off, the hostess was from New Jersey!   You can’t go wrong with this place—another 5-cheese rating from Rambling RV Rat!

After dinner, my family walked over to the docks to scout out the boat that Dad and Mike were scheduled to board for their fishing expedition.   And how nice it was to run into fellow RV Dreamers Jim and Barb!  We all enjoyed a drink at the Salty Dawg Saloon, exchanged info on places we all visited, and shared some good laughs.

RV Dreamers Jim and Barb

Salty Dawg Saloon

Dad hit the sack a bit earlier than usual, dreaming about all the fish he was going to catch.  Or maybe it was a nightmare about being skunked again!  All I know is that fish were occupying his subconscious. 

I guess all his overnight fish thoughts paid off.  Amen and alleluia, both Dad and Mike caught halibut on their fishing expedition on Sunday!  Dad got the second largest fish—weighing in at 50 pounds!  They enjoyed calm waters, good company, and everyone on the boat walked away with fish.  Our freezer is turned on for the first time on this trip, Dad has stopped frowning, and we will enjoy some delicious halibut for several months! 

Holy Halibut!  Dad caught a 50 pounder!

The seas at daybreak

That's a boatload of sea otters!

While Dad and Mike fished, Claudia, Mom, and I visited various gift shops and did a walking tour of the historic buildings in town, including the Harrington Cabin, The Heady Hotel, and the old Homer Post Office.  Sunday was a good day for everyone.

Harrington Cabin

My new friend, Suzie, outside the Harrington Cabin

48 years after this three-story log structure was built, the original Heady Hotel still operates as a lodge

Homer's original post office, circa 1927.  Notice the tree growing on the roof!

Some beautiful gardens to enhance this quaint town!

The weather was dismal most of today, so we decided to just lounge around.  We read, made reservations for upcoming tours, and just soaked in the beautiful view. 

But as I started to write this blog at 9:30 p.m., the sun popped its head out and mixed with a spritz of rain.

By 10 p.m., Dad was reading a book with his eyes closed and most folks in the campground had drawn their shades and had already entered Slumber Land.  But Mom and I share a passion.  We relish the nighttime for walking in the “Land of the Midnight Sun”.  Our days here on earth are finite; we have eternity to sleep.  Nighttime walks in Alaska evoke our spirituality and provide serenity.  They are our meditation moments, our connection with our Creator.  They rejuvenate our soul.  Just look at the magnificence we witnessed in the last two hours!  We are so thankful and feel so blessed to marvel in these wondrous works of God in nature.

The sunshower produced a colorful rainbow!

A glorious midnight sun!

Homer has been one of my favorite stops in Alaska!  It has a more temperate climate, with lows in the winter averaging about 18F degrees, and highs in the summer of about 60F degrees.  It is quite versatile and offers something for everyone, whether seafarer or landlubber, from the white-capped waters to the snow-capped mountains, volcanoes, and glaciers.  I'm glad we got to spend time here.

Time for me to sign off.  Will speak to you soon from Whittier!



  1. So happy for you that you caught a BIG fish! They are so delish! We loved Homer also and will return at the end of Aug - Bill says he hopes you didn't catch HIS fish! We hope to fill our freezer as well! Continued safe travels my friend!

    1. I am sure there is a big door mat waiting for Bill so you can fill the freezer!
      Enjoy that beautiful area around of our favs!

    2. I am sure there is a big door mat waiting for Bill so you can fill the freezer!
      Enjoy that beautiful area around of our favs!

  2. Homer was one of our favourite stops too. Congrats on finally getting some fish on Les!
    Safe travels!