Friday, July 11, 2008
Run to Homer
Day 17, July 10, 2008-470 miles. Today we rode to Homer, the southwest coastal city at the end of Highway 1. It was a good ride, but I haven't been sleeping well and had to fight drowsiness all day.
The ride down Turnagain Arm is always a good ride. The mountains against the road on the left and Turnagain Arm's waters on the right side with huge mountains streaked with snow is a beautiful sight. It is a unique place, and one that I love to look at.
It was supposed to be a warmer day than yesterday, but it stayed cloudy most of the day and about half way there, we stopped for some warm liquid and a cookie to wake and warm us. I decided to don my heated jacket to help with the coolness.
It did it's job and soon I was a bit too warm. So, over a period of a half hour or so, I kept adjusting the thermostat lower and lower to reduce the heat. The heated grips helped my chilled hands. After a while I was toasty warm and sleepy. I just couldn't get rid of the sleepiness.
Along the way, we saw a number of eagles and one moose cow and two calves by the road. However, we didn't see much else in the way of wildlife.
We did the loop around Homer. On the bottom road, we turned left onto the famous Homer Spit. I had pictured a spit of sand and rocks andnot much more. However, much to my surprise and dismay, it had a paved road, and was commercialized very heavily. We saw more people on the spit than anywhere else in Homer. Quite a sight, watching people tussle over parking spaces.
The spit varies in width from maybe 150 feet to perhaps 1,000 feet. It is about 3.4 miles long, a finger of land going out into Cook Inlet. The wind was blowing from the ocean to the spit, and it was very cold. It was not somewhere to hang around and lollygag.
We went into the Salty Dawg Saloon, perhaps to have a beer, but it was packed. We decided to go to the Happy Face restaurant for a late lunch and a beer. I got a steak sandwich, and they served a ribeye steak between two pieces of bread. It was very good!
When we left the restaurant, we watched some men cleaning Halibut caught earlier in the day. It was quite an operation, watching them jive talking to each other and slicing the fish with great skill. The fillets were anywhere from 15 to 25 inches in length, and some were as wide as probably 15 inches. A single fish would feed many families. I enjoyed watching the cleaning operation and seeing the big flukes.
Then back towards the parked bikes. We walked down to the water so we could say we had touched the waters of Cook Inlet. Cold, but not as cold as I expected. Neat!
Then back towards our base. The ride home was fairly routine, except the drowsiness set in again several times as we rode. We saw 2 more moose, both females, along the way. No other wildlife would show up for us to watch.
We got home about 9:20pm, still plenty light outside. Tired puppies again.