Wild View Yonder
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Homer, and the strand of land protruding to the southeast known as Homer Spit. We arrived in the evening, so sightseeing had to wait for morning.
Eagles! And lots of them! In what has become a controversial practice, people, and in particular one person, a lady named Jean Keene, regularly feed the eagles. Ms. Keene feeds them at 9AM every morning. We were not there for the feeding, though I'm told that the population of the huge birds increases at least 3-fold just at the right time. We looked but were unable to find any of them wearing a watch.
After watching the eagles for a few hours, we stopped for lunch at a little place called the Latitude 59 Cafe. They have an espresso bar and sandwich counter with soups. We sampled their Chili which was the soup of the day. Quite good. The fellow running the place had just moved to Homer from Hawaii and bought the place and had many an interesting story to tell.
At night, we ordered a pizza from Fat Olive's for take-out. Strolling around while waiting for it to be ready, we happened into a liquor store next door to the restaurant where we learned of the Bear Creek Winery in Homer, that specializes in unusual wines made with local berries, rhubarb, and other mostly locally grown sugar-containing plants. We resolved to check it out the next morning. Our Pizza, by the way, was quite good.
Early the next morning we were awakened by an earthquake of roughly 5.1 magnitude, centered very close by and relatively shallow. It shook fairly violently. By comparison, I was close to Northridge when the quake hit there in 1994, and in Redmond, WA when the 2001 quake hit south of Seattle. The intensity of the shaking in Homer seemed a little stronger than the Seattle area quake as felt from Redmond but nowhere near as violent as the Northridge quake. Still, it was enough to stimulate our adrenal glands and there was no more sleep to be had.
Later that morning we visited the Bear Creek Winery which turns out to also be a very nice little bed and breakfast.They have a lovely tasting room where we were treated to some wonderful and very unusual wines. I'd strongly recommend a stop there for anyone visiting Homer with even a passing interest in wine.
A snow storm moved in over the area over night and effectively prevented any further sightseeing and photo opportunities, so we opted to cut our homer visit short by a day and return to Anchorage where we'd spend an extra day before leaving Alaska.