While we were in the Seward area we decided to take a day trip over to Homer. We had no plans of actually staying over on that side of the peninsula, but we did want to see it.
I thought a map might help you visualize where we went. We started in Seward and went all the way around to Homer. It doesn’t really look that far, does it? We left around eight in the morning and got back just after midnight. It was a very long day, but we feel like it was worth the drive.
The first city we stopped in was Kenai.
We asked at the Visitor Center where a good place to eat would be and was pointed over to the Burger Bus which was within walking distance.
The portions were big and the food was hot!
Once we were certain no one would wilt away from hunger, we set off to see Kenai.
Kenai was the first European settlement on mainland Alaska when it was colonized by Russian fur traders.
You can see the Russian influence in some of the buildings. The church and the chapel above were the prettiest and best preserved.
Welcome to the Cook Inlet. That big peak you see in the photo above is a volcano.
The entire beach around the Cook Inlet was covered with fishermen.
Alaskan’s take their fishing seriously and the birds are always near to try and steal a catch.
We found this huge patch of fireweed in a park in Kenai. I wanted to show y’all how big this stuff can get!!
From Kenai we went back to Soldotna. Alaskan’s are serious about their fishing, but they’re also very serious about preserving their land. All around Soldotna and several of the other towns we passed through, there are fishwalks on the banks. The fishwalks are to insure that the river banks don’t get ruined which would cause the fish to stop going there to spawn. You can see a fishwalk in the picture above. Notice there are even stairs that lead right down into the river. The fishwalk above is right behind the Soldotna Visitor Center.
The Kenai River! It doesn’t really show up that great in the photo, but the water is turquoise! If you look closely, you’ll see all of the fishing docks along the right side of the river. Every available space was crammed with fishermen trying to get their daily limit.
And, of course, there were amazing flowers!
Tell me I’m not the only one who takes pictures of flowers everywhere! Alaska is overflowing with amazing flowers. All of that sunlight does amazing things for plants!
Right in the middle of Soldotna is one of the busiest places…
The Moose is Loose Bakery!
We stopped in and got a few goodies to have the next morning! They were tasty…and big! The chocolate covered donut you see there…it was the size of a plate.
On our way out of Soldotna we stopped by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. Above you’ll see a life size statue of a moose. They get big! Everything in Alaska is big!!
The little boys worked for their first Fish & Game badge. We walked down a short trail to a lake near the Headquarters as part of their Junior Ranger requirements.
The lake was calm and beautiful. I snuck out on the dock to get the picture above. Shhh…don’t tell anyone.
We spent about an hour there and the boys completed all of the requirements for the badge.
This is one of my favorite badges so far. I really like that’s it’s blue and not just the standard gold that all the other badges are.
This is called Devil’s Club. We see it all over the place. It’s not a nice plant. Pretty, but not nice.
Look at all of those thorns! And the berries are poisonous. There was an abundance of Devil’s Club on the trail to the lake.
Our next stop was Homer!
We pulled off at Bay Crest Hill to get a view of the area.
Not a bad view, right?
I got a picture of the Homer Spit from our vantage point.
We drove all the way out to the tip of the Homer Spit to get a good look at Kachemak Bay. It was gorgeous!
We haven’t’ found a bad view of coastal Alaska anywhere.
We headed back up the Spit to check out what else it offered. Now, we had heard from a few people about The Salty Dawg Saloon. Y’all know saloons are not really our thing, but we went to check it out. The boys stayed outside while we stuck our heads inside.
There’s a story about The Salty Dawg…I don’t know how true it is…but a long time ago someone went in and left a dollar for his friend who was coming in later. Ever since then, it’s a tradition to leave a dollar. It was neat to see all of those dollar bills posted up on all of the walls and ceiling. We didn’t leave a dollar…we didn’t get anything to eat or drink there so we didn’t really feel like we should.
There’s also a small boardwalk with shops along the Spit. They are as you would imagine…for the tourists. We saw the highest prices yet while in Homer.
The Spit looks flat from above, so I was surprised to see actual houses right in the middle of the Spit. I love the bright colors of the houses in front of the mountains.
The last thing we did on The Spit was walk by the Boat Graveyard…which ended up being someone’s privately owned property. So, we didn’t get to walk through it, but we got to see some neat boats.
The owner of the Boat Graveyard actually lived in a huge, ancient boat right there on the Spit. I didn’t get a picture of it…I felt weird taking a picture of someone’s house.
On the way back to Seward, we stopped at Anchor Point to snap a picture at North America’s most westerly highway point.
We stopped at a pull off not too far from Anchor Point to get this shot. It was around 10PM and the sun was finally starting to make it’s way to the horizon. There was a small rainbow above the peak on the left.
We even saw a few moose! This shot was taken just after 11PM. Dusk for this area.
We had a very long, very memorable day driving to Homer. We missed some of the things we wanted to stop and see, but there are only so many hours in the day.
See y’all on the road!