Alaska, the Last Frontier - Summer 2012 travel blog

artis's home

flower garden

vegetable garden


fog panorama

bird island



It's our last day in Homer and the last day camped on a bluff overlooking the sea. The view of the water framed by wildflowers is ever changing. At time the distant volcanos with steam billowing out is in view and the fishing boats look like tiny toys. Then the fog creeps in playing peek-a-boo with it all. We will be sorry to leave.

The view put us in an artistic frame of mind and we visited the home and gallery of a local artist Norman Lowell. He brought his young family to Alaska in the 1950's and built a cabin in the wilderness and taught himself to paint. He found such great success that today a large gallery exhibiting his work sits next to his home, exhibiting some of his work offset by pieces of local art. No entrance fee charged. We walked in to the sounds of the 1812 Overture and enjoyed looking at paintings representing many of the places we have visited this summer. A very old man was zooming around in his wheel chair and it took us a while to realize that it was the artist himself. He welcomed us to go in his garden where fabulous flowers and vegetables were thriving in the bright sunshine. Peonies have just started blooming here. A different variety of peony was blooming months ago when we left our home in May. Patience required.

Then we return to Homer Spit and took a walking tour with a young woman born and raised in Homer. That was unusual; most folks we meet are here from somewhere else. She was born to parents who met on a fishing boat and spent most of her young life on the water rather than on land. The 1989 oil spill from the Exxon Valdez brought her parents' livelihood to an end and they moved to the land to stay, but she still had their enthusiasm for the sea and knowledge of how folks here make their living on boats. As we walked the harbor she pointed out the different types of boats and how she could tell what sort of fish the looked for based on the equipment on board. The tour ended at the fish processing plant where the halibut we caught here yesterday is being flash frozen and wrapped in plastic. And so we stopped and picked up our own fish and took a taste of Homer with us as we turn north and travel inland once again.

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