Alaska 2008 – Day 11, July 14

Day 11, July 14

Bird Creek to Homer AK and back

356 miles

This morning is supposed to be a sleep in, but due to some miscommunication, Mike gets us up at the crack of dawn…er…okay, dawn happened at 2am, shortly after dusk occurred, so I guess I can’t say that. Anyway, we got up early.

Mike talks to Steve and John, and it’s decided we’ll loop to Homer today, then spend the night here again tonight. The guys decide they’ll relax a bit longer, so Mike and I take off for Homer. We take our time on the trip in. The road is dotted with small towns, all kept alive by tourism and fishing. It’s a relatively busy road, but wide and well maintained. Views range from rolling green pastureland to mountain overlooks then on to steep hills dropping into the ocean below.

There are historic markers showing coal mining operations from the 1800s, you can just barely see the old tailings and trails on the hillsides. As we get closer to Homer, the road skirts along the western lip of the peninsula, and views of the mainland and its snow-clad mountains across the water are amazing.

In Homer, we stop at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, which is more a museum than a visitors center. We spend about an hour wandering through their exhibits. As we’re gearing up, Steve calls and says they’re in town and they’ll meet us out on the spit.

This 4.5 mile natural spit was originally higher, wider and drier than it is now. The 1964 earthquake reduced it to 508 acres, about 350 of which are submerged at mean high tide. Fortunately the spit wasn’t very developed then, but it sure is now.

The thin strip of road takes you to the very end of this long finger, both sides are packed with campgrounds, restaurants, docks and gift shops. There’s a large hotel at the end named, appropriately, Lands End. Mike and I would love to spend a few days here and just wander around the shops and museums. Unfortunately there’s no time to spare on this trip, so after a bit of shopping in the fun little stores we head back ‘home’ to Bird Creek.

We stop for gas in Girdwood, and a guy tells us there’s a wreck up the road a ways and they have traffic completely stopped. We’re thinking its got to be past our hotel, since it’s just up the road 2 or 3 miles. Unfortunately, the accident is in between us and our motel. We spend the next 2 hours relaxing on hard cold asphalt within shouting distance of our warm soft beds. The upside is that we do get to see a sunset in Alaska. The downside is that we need to make it to Fairbanks and our appointment with Thunder Road Motorsports tomorrow, which is 400 miles from where we sit now.

I’m wearing down. Even a good nights’ sleep is leaving me tired and cranky. Though we’re now on decent roads, and the scenery is awesome, I long for a day of just sleeping in and doing nothing but watching TV, reading, or maybe just staring at the wall.

I think the guys are feeling it too, they just don’t want to admit it.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s