Alaska, the Last Frontier - Summer 2012 travel blog

flowers on the bay

foggy Kachemak Bay

Grewingk Glacier


Homer Spit close up

Homer Spit panorama

ship graveyard

ship graveyard


Homer is proud of its status at the end of the road, the farthest point south on the Kenai Peninsula on Homer Spit. The forces of nature that built the spit, a small piece of land jutting out into Kachemak Bay, would have washed it away again if humans had not intervened. Winter storms try to separate the 4.5 strip of sand and gravel from the mainland almost every year, but rock walls and perseverance keep it intact. The prevalent theory for the spit's origin is that it is the remains of an ancient glacial moraine, constantly reshaped by ocean currents. The village of Homer was first located on the spit from 1896 to 1902 when it was abandoned. A second community developed in 1920. As people ran out of space on the spit, more and more homes and businesses were built in the foothills. Skyline Drive provided us with great views of the spit and the rest of the town.

Homer has grown a lot since we were here in 1989. We have vivid memories of masses of bald eagles. But we read that they were fed by a local lady every day of the year and when she died in 2009, a law was passed that makes feeding the eagles illegal. So far we've seen a few riding the air currents, but haven't had the opportunity for the endless close-ups we saw then.

Today the spit is a jumble of tourist shops disguised to look like fishing shacks and genuine fishing structures. Most of the boats we saw in the harbor were smaller than the commercial vessels we saw in Valdez. But many locals were busy putting boats in the water and cleaning their catch. There are many spots to camp along the spit, but they are rather pricey so we opted for a spot perched on the bluffs just out of town. We're torn between watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics and looking out the window at Kachemak Bay and saying wow. The view is priceless. Keep those blue skies coming!

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