When I was in Alaska with my nephew Kyle nine years ago, I vowed to come back someday and go to Homer. Don’t ask me why… I hadn’t known anything about this little town at the time, nor did I know what drew me to it. All I knew was that I had to visit Homer. So when I began to plan this trip a year ago, I knew I would be routing us down the Kenai Peninsula to finally pay Homer a visit.
Homer is a funky little town at the end of the Sterling Highway some 200 miles south of Anchorage. It’s the true end of the road on Alaska Highway 1. It features the Homer Spit — a long piece of land jutting out into the Kachemak Bay, and the road extending out onto The Spit, at 4.5 miles long, is the longest road into ocean waters in the world. Shops along a boardwalk, a boat harbor, local art galleries, bars and restaurants, and even a couple of RV parks — we could have driven Charley up here! — are alive all summer long as the town really swells during the summer tourist season, then all but closes down during the wintertime.
And if all this isn’t enough, Homer is known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” so its restaurants serve up delicious halibut, salmon, black cod, and other delectable fruits of the sea in quantities (large) and prices (reasonable) not seen back in the Lower 48. It’s just 10 miles across the glistening bay to the mountains which are frosted with snow and glaciers. Where there’s a prettier view in the world, I’m not sure.
As it turns out, I think I was supposed to come here. I had made accommodations for us at the Bay Avenue Bed & Breakfast, and from the minute we walked in the door, I could feel that this place was special. Lori, our lovely and gracious hostess, made us feel right at home in her well-appointed, Spit-overlooking house on the bay. We visited some before heading out to a dinner featuring the above-mentioned halibut (yum!), but it was the following morning that it happened. Let’s just say Lori and I bonded and don’t be surprised to find me doing a little stint with her up here next summer!
Unfortunately we had to leave Homer after just two days (why hadn’t I booked a longer stay here?!?) but not before learning many wonderful things about Alaska from Lori, enjoying her delicious breakfasts washed down with her locally-harvested tea, and if I’m honest, falling in love with Homer. If it wasn’t so far from family and friends back in the Midwest, I think, no, I know, I might just like to call Homer “home.”
P.S. When traveling to Homer, we passed through the village of Anchor Point. In keeping with our goal of traveling to the four Extreme Points in the U.S., we recently visited Cape Alava, Washington, which is the farthest western point in the Contiguous U.S. — see Westernmost Extreme Point post — and that’s how we defined our N-S-E-W points goal. But for the record, Anchor Point is the farthest western point in the U.S. that is accessible by road, and it’s much farther west than the state of Washington. If we make it to Barrow, Alaska, that little town is the farthest northern point in the U.S. accessible by road. Next year we may just have to go there….