On the Homer Spit

Homer 4Homer is a popular spot on the Kenai Peninsula, and we had heard very good things about it. But frankly we did not know very much and had no specific plans prior to arriving there. But we did know we wanted to try to stay on the Homer spit.  A long skinny peninsula where the town’s boat harbor and many tourist activities are centered.Homer 53

Homer 1Homer 2Homer 3Homer 42We drove over to Homer on the Sterling Highway, a beautiful road that we had driven earlier in our travels. The Kenai River, super popular for fishing, runs alongside part of the road. There are a number of towns along the way, including Ninilchik, where we made a brief stop at the Transfiguration of our Lord Church, a Russian Orthodox church founded in 1846. The church and its cemetery are quite picturesque and are one of many examples of Russia’s historical influence on Alaska.

Alaska Day driving day 5 recap:

Road Name: Seward Highway (a short section) to Sterling Highway

Road Type: 2-lane

Road Conditions: Seward Highway is generally good, Sterling Highway is good but quite narrow for a bit after Cooper Landing, including a mercifully not too long windy section with no shoulder and a guardrail on both sides where a motorhome like ours barely fit with another large vehicle on the oncoming lane.

Miles Today: 173

Driving Time: 4:15

Total Miles in Alaska: 1228

Total Miles since entering Canada: 3222

The road ends at Homer.  Beyond Homer lies more of the roadless Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Archipelago.  Alaska is both our westernmost and easternmost state.  How can that be?  The end of the Aleutian chain lies over the international dateline.  And just north of Homer on the Sterling Highway is the westernmost section of paved road in the entire USA.

Homer 7Homer 5Homer 13We arrived at Homer and camped at Mariner Park on the beach at the base of the spit, quite a distance from the more “commercial” area closer to the end of the spit.

After we settled in, we walked the beach in front of our campsite with Angel. We absolutely loved it there, with beautiful views of the inlet, mountains and more. Read my review of the campground here.Homer 9

Homer 10We spent a lot of time just hanging around resting, watching the tide go in and out and enjoying the beach. Angel enjoyed the beach too, she is always hunting crustaceans!

The views on this side of the spit, Cook Inlet, as well as the opposite side, Kachemak Bay were lovely.

Homer 17Homer 16Eagles came to visit often.Homer 84

Homer 15Homer 38Homer 71The spit is a long, narrow bar of gravel that juts out into Kachemak Bay and has a major dock facility. The small boat harbor area has lots of shops, galleries, restaurants, hotels, and tour operators and can get really hopping.Homer 23

Homer 22One area of the spit has been overtaken with “vintage” boats and related artifacts, including an old boat that appears to be someone’s residence (there is a mailbox as you enter).

Classic Alaska.Homer 21

Homer 72The more traditional boats and floatplanes (a new favorite photography subject for Hector) were present.

As well as odd vehicles including one crazy driver who zoomed around in his beat up Subaru equipped with a yurt on top. Hmmm.Homer 24

Homer 12Back on the beach, we finally got to watch an actual sunset, as the days have started to get shorter sunset is now at a more reasonable 11 in the evening. And we continued to enjoy the views across the water.Homer 29

Homer 28Homer 31We visited the small but engaging Pratt Museum. The museum’s exhibits and interactive displays focus on history, art and biology of the area, the culture of Kachemak Bay, fishing, a historic cabin, a small botanical garden and more. We also visited several art galleries and shops in town.

Homer 34Homer 35We bumped into our friends Jack and Karen when we arrived in Homer, and they joined us for dinner one evening. They are taking a different route than we are and gave us some good tips once again on some of the places they have already visited including Denali National Park. While we were walking the beach we discovered sea otters off shore and eagles on the beach.  Beautiful!

Jack and Karen brought some halibut they caught back in Valdez and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. As Hector likes to say “you catch them and I’ll happily cook them”. We have really enjoyed bumping into them.

Homer 61Homer 41Homer 40Homer 39Homer 33We also explored the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, a partnership between the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is the largest seabird refuge in the world, stretching from Cape Lisbune on the Chukchi Sea to the tip of the Alteutian Islands in the West and Forrester Island in the Southern Alaska Panhandle region in the east, encompassing the Aleutian Islands, Pribilofs, Chiswell Islands and more, a total of 4.9 million acres.

The center has exhibits and displays about the seabirds, marine mammals and other wildlife that inhabit its more than 2,500 islands, rocks, spires and coastal headlands, as well as research being done within its boundaries. Hector was so immersed in the displays and exhibits that we have no photos. But the nature trail out back was a beautiful walk.

There are fabulous oysters in Homer, although they are quite pricy in the restaurants. So since Hector is an expert shucker, we bought some to take home and sampled some beer next door at the Homer Brewing Company.

Homer 55

Homer 54Then we drove out on the popular Skyline Drive, which climbs up above Homer with views of Kachemak Bay, the Mountains, the spit, Cook Inlet and the town.

Our campground … see Island Girl?

Our campground … see Island Girl?

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On the way back, we visited an eagles’ nest that is well-known around the town. There is an eaglet, and mama and papa are seen often. We visited a few times, and saw the eaglet and one adult (mama?) nearby.

Homer 45Homer 59That evening, our friends Dan and Amanda joined us for oysters on the half shell. Later they cooked dinner which we ate out by the beach.Homer 47

Homer 57We walked on the beach with all of our dogs, Angel, Sadie and the irrepressible Diego.

People DO look like their dogs.  Dan and Diego.

People DO look like their dogs! Dan and Diego.

Homer 70Their friends Chad and Lauren and joined us, and we all enjoyed a late night campfire on an absolutely beautiful evening with a gorgeous moon.Homer 68

Homer 14Homer 75Homer 73Homer 74The next day we spotted some eagles on a sand bar in the bay. Hector headed off after them and tried to wait them out and see them fly but was ultimately thwarted in his attempt to get the amazing picture and in the process, also made us really late for another dinner with Dan and Amanda.

Dan and Amanda were pretty easygoing about it and brought some of their catch – halibut and salmon and we had a community dinner. Another fun evening with friends, and another late night.

Homer 27Homer 78

Homer 79On our last night in Homer it was raining when we got home but we spotted several eagles on the beach, two that were pretty close to Island Girl. Hector headed out with his and the camera’s raincoats and was gone a pretty long time, following the two eagles from the beach to the dunes.

Homer 92

Homer 86

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Homer 98Homer 99

Homer 95They walked around near the surf, they flew around, they perched here and there, all the while with Hector in pursuit in the rain.Homer 94Homer 93Homer 91

Homer 100He returned soggy but happy.  A rewarding last evening at our beachfront spot on the beautiful Homer Spit.

~ BrendaHomer 26

20 thoughts on “On the Homer Spit

  1. Amazing Eagles, and yes lots of them in Homer. I would be like Hector, pursue those Eagles and capture them. Love all the eagle photos, and really worth pursuing.
    If you are still there a drive to Anchor Point would be worthwhile especially if it is a clear day and you will see the three beautiful volcanoes. It is also the most westerly highway point in America.
    I hope the weather gets better and you can kayak at the Kenai River in Coopers Landing. Sometimes the rain is a downer when you want togo out and enjoy.

    If you park or stop in Kenai, try to go to the Cook Inlet, Kenai River and watch the locals in droves fishing by dip netting. It is quite fascinating, I have never seen anything like it anywhere else. And if it is a clear day the three volcanoes might just be showing its beauty.

    • We left Homer, and we had cut our stay short because we stayed longer in Seward. So we missed Anchor Point, but we did see the fishermen dip netting. Rain was ok, it wasn’t bad to take it easy!

    • Yes, I highly recommend Homer, and stay in Mariner Park if you are ok dry camping, a great deal at $15 (has a two week maximum).

  2. Wow, as ever. Interesting learning Hector is an expert shucker. 😀 Loved the people pictures! 🙂 Angel looks GREAT! We close with love from afar, gratitude for your “keeping” us with you, and prayers for your continued fun, safe journeys! xo

    • Thank you! Love and miss you guys – we will not make it to Denver this year, it will be too late in the year and too cold. Maybe you can meet us somewhere 🙂

        • We will head down the coast from Washington to California starting late September, winding up in San Diego at end of December, part of January. Then we head to the desert, and will definitely spend time in Tucson and Albuquerque. Is there anywhere in particular in those areas that you have been wanting to visit? We are kind of flexible.

    • Thanks, Russ. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was raining when he got some of those, but they were worth it!

  3. Another tough location for you three:) It seems that no matter where you turn the view is gorgeous. What a great time with friends that have fresh caught fish…yum!!! Oh, must be warming a little, the shorts were back:) Love the eagle photos:)

    • I know, it is all gorgeous and great times with friends. Yes, we had a few warmer days, he really doesn’t need for it to be too warm for shorts 🙂

  4. It was a pleasure camping next to you at Mariner Park. Tim and I enjoyed meeting you and Hector and chatting about our respective adventures. We also loved Homer, and your words and photos perfectly capture this magical place.

    • It was wonderful to meet you too. We loved Homer and that campground was great. We just left Denali and are headed to Yukon Territory – so many beautiful places!

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