Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ninilchik and Homer, Alaska

Saturday, July 16

One of the most popular sites on the Kenai Peninsula is the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church. It sits on the bluff overlooking Ninilchik's small harbor.

The RVs on the beach are for people who are clamming. There are q couple of folks in our campground who have brought in full loads of clams yesterday and today. They spent hours shucking and cleaning them at the cleaning station at the front of the campground.

After we visited the church we drove down to Homer. The highway went through Anchor Point, so named because Captain Cook lost an anchor here in 1778, when his ships Discovery and Resolution sailed into Cook Inlet looking for the Northwest Passage.

We stopped at a rest area overlooking Kachemak Bay. Though it was a bit hazy, you could see the Homer Spit and across the bay to the Kenai Mountains.

I noticed the different vegetables growing in the planter at the rest area: lettuces, cabbages, chard, zucchini, onions, and more. The sign said "Please look but don't pick. Produce is the Homer Community Food Pantry." As we were walking around Homer, we saw mores planters, big and small, with similar produce growing in them. I guess you take advantage of the short growing season everywhere you can!

Our first stop in Homer was the Pratt Museum. I hace to say that the Pratt Museum is the best museum I have ever, ever visited. It has three floors. The top floor is dedicated to geological, geographical, biological, and historical displays. It was fascinating. I stayed there for almost two hours. The next floor down is a small room with several aquariums full of various small tide pool creatures (anemones, snails, starfish, an octopus, and more) and a couple of displays about the different sea birds. There's also a screen with a live shot of the Gull Island camera. From the Pratt Museum, 8 miles away, you can manipulate the camera to look all over the island and zoom in on the common murres (related to penguins), kittiwakes, puffins, cormorants, and glaucous-winged gulls in their natural habitat.

There are several different quilts hanging in the museum, and as a quilted, I had to take pictures of them!

There are also works of art from local artists on display.

The bottom floor has an exhibition about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, focusing on the cleanup and the effects of the spill on the wildlife and Flora of Prince William Sound. There are also a number of pieces of art related to the oil spill.

Just before we left the museum, I met and talked with George Harbeson, Jr. He wrote Homesteaders in the Headlights, a book about his "family's journey from a Depression-era New Jersey farm to a new life in Wasilla, Alaska." He's a retired English teacher, like me, and his father was also an English teacher. I bought a copy of his book and had him autograph it for me.

This little piece is about 12 inches tall, and is called "Reading Room." the artist is Margo Klass.

Our next stop was the Homer Spit. I was amazed at the number of tenters camped on the westward (ocean) side of the spit. They must risk getting blown away al the time. It's extremely windy there. We saw several dozen little shops caterers to the tourists who disembark from the cruise ships, but we didn't visit any of them.

Lunch was pizza at a very nice restaurant called Fat Olives. Our pizza was called a Capricciosa, and it had pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and capers. It was quite delicious!

We returned to Ninilchik around 3, and I convinced Don to go fish Deep Creek. He had been told that the fishing wasn't that good so he hadn't tried it yet--but I reminded him that even fishing without catching was better than sitting at the trailer. He came back at 8:30, and said he'd caught several Dolly Varden and some pink salmon. Finally! Some successful river fishing.

Tomorrow: Don goes halibut fishing.

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1 comment:

Sondra said...

Beautiful quilts!!! Sounds Like you got an interesting book too!