Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Alaska RV Tour - Homer, Alaska

We left Anchorage on Monday, July 26th and drove the 221 miles to Homer along the Sterling Highway. We stayed in Homer for only two nights, leaving the morning of Wedesday, July 28th.

As we drove along, Spike told us about the Russian background of this part of Alaska. Russian whalers and fur traders established the first white settlement in Alaska in 1784 on Kodiak Island and later in Sitka. Although Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867, the Russian influence is still evident today in the communities of Sitka, Kodiak, Unalaska and Kenai, where onion-domed Russian Orthodox churches remain.  We would see some of this influence on our way to Homer, but even more so in a couple days when we go to Kenai.

Along the way, we stopped at the Fred Meyer store in Soldotna to give everyone a chance to eat lunch and stock up on groceries.  That parking lot was a zoo!  In addition to our group's RVs, there must have been at least 30 other rigs filling the parking lot. Nearly three-quarters of Alaska sport fishing is done in the South central region of the state, which encompasses this area. Yes, it's summertime and fishing is underway!

We arrived at the Heritage RV Park on the Homer Spit around 3 PM.  Here is a photo that Joe Scott took and shared with our group.

The Homer Spit is a 4.5 mile long piece of land on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula that sticks out into Kachemak Bay and it boasts the longest road into ocean waters in the world, taking up 10–15 minutes to cover by car. The Spit is home to the Homer Boat Harbor, which serves up to 1500 commercial and pleasure boats at its summer peak, and also to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, campgrounds, hotels, and restaurants and the infamous Salty Dawg Saloon. Unfortunately, the weather was so damp and chilly the day we arrived that we explored none of this... it was just too miserable! 

Lynda had decided to go deep sea fishing for Halibut the next morning and so she went with some others from our group to get signed up.  She needed to get up around 5:30 AM to get down to the boat dock by 6 AM. I'm glad she does not go fishing very often because I also had to get up to fix her coffee and push her sleepy head out the door! Anyway, she has made a separate posting about her fishing experience and so I'll leave it at that.  

Later than day, when our intrepid Halibut fishermen returned home and the tide came back in, John Bland took us to the next door fishing hole in the hopes we could catch some Salmon.

John was very patient in showing us what to do but we didn't catch anything, although I enjoyed it anyway. By then the sun had come out and it was a pretty day, although still quite chilly.

The next day, our Halibut fisherman went and picked up their fish (Lynda chose to have most of her catch mailed home) and then our caravan group got ready to head to Kenai. This will be our last stop in Alaska as a group - it's hard to believe that 5 weeks have gone by and our Alaska RV tour is winding down. We're feeling a little sad about it.

In honor of our military retirees and veterans, I played the Air Force song (Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder) over the radio as our caravan got underway for the last time.  After all, it was time those Army, Marine, and Navy folks in our group listened to some real military music  :-)

Click here to see photos of Homer and stay tuned to hear about Kenai! 

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