There was no rain in the morning when we rolled out of bed and packed our bikes. We made a quick stop for gas and some groceries and then headed to Homer. We have been watching the weather forecasts for days and really want to go the Seward but it is getting soaked right now. Homer has a chance of showers and that is much better than the forecast of RAIN in Seward.
The ride out of Anchorage along the Cook Inlet is absolutely breathtaking. On the right was the gray-brown water of the inlet. It looked very cold and the wind-bred waves and cop made it look very angry. On the other side are the glacier encrusted mountains, with just enough room between the two for a road. The glaciers are long and thin, for the most part, in the folds of the mountains and are much smaller than they used to be.
The sky was gray and the ceiling very low but there was no rain even though it looked like there should be. This amazing intersection of sea and mountains kept up for about 50 miles until we passed Portage and headed up the Kenai River valley. Here the road got pretty curvy but we were frustrated by the slow-ass car drivers and no place to pass them. The trees are a lot larger here. At a few spots we could see the fishermen lined up in the river angling for salmon. They term this ‘combat fishing’ because they are all trying to catch their limit and there is a certain etiquette that must be followed. This is not sport fishing, they want meat for their freezers.
Beyond Moose Pass the road straightens out and gets more agricultural looking but it is still mostly a hall of trees but they have gotten smaller.
We stopped in Sterling for lunch at a cafe and I got a hot turkey sandwich on sourdough with mashed potatoes and gravy. It was delicious and a large portion and knew I would not need much dinner. After lunch we left and hit the hardest rain of the day but it was nothing like what I experienced in Canada. It had been spitting rain on us on and off all day but this was rain. The bikes had some of the mud from the Denali Highway cleaned off. The rain let up about the time we hit the coast at Kasilof. It was hard to distinguish between the gray sky and the cold gray water of the inlet. The sky was getting lighter as we went toward Homer. At Anchor Point the road is the farthest west that one can drive in the USA, we missed the sign and will stop on the way back out tomorrow.
We knew it would be dicey trying to camp in Homer because of the rain possibility and were leaning toward getting a room for the night. First we went out on the famous ‘Homer Spit’ to have a look. I thought that the Spit was man-made but it is a natural formation that juts out into Kachamak Bay about a mile. I think it is Alaska’s wang. There are many dozens of RVs camping on the Spit but the wind would make pitching a tent fun. If it rains that would make it even more fun. There is a cruise ship docked at the pier and lots of tourists around. We spent some time trying to book a room but had no good luck. We stopped at a lodge right at the start of the Spit and got a room for about the best price to be had here, it is a popular destination.
across the water the view is amazing. The glacier frosted mountains of the Alaska Range were bathed in more sunlight, through thinner clouds, than on this side and the white on dark green contrast is hypnotizing.
After getting squared away we walked to two local breweries to sample their beers. Homer Brewing Company Broken Birch Bitter was pretty good but we preferred the IPA at Grace Ridge Brewing. We learned that in Alaska a brewery must stop serving at 8PM so we got two crowlers for the road. A crowler is a 32 oz. can.
Tomorrow we may try for Seward but the forecast is not in our favor.