Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Salmon On The Spit

Sometimes a “spit” is a nasty habit! Sometimes a “spit” is part of a grill that turns the roast ‘round and ‘round until it’s ready to eat. But a spit is also a bar of gravel or rock or sand left at the leading edge of a glacier - either in advance or retreat mode. And this latter definition is what forms the Spit that extends out into Kachemak Bay from the village of Homer, Alaska. Even from a distance on the way into Homer, the Spit is a beautiful and impressive site with the back drop of mountains, including four volcanoes in the “Ring of Fire” in the far away Aleutian range of mountains. What better place to spend a week!

And speaking of sand bars, how about the Salty Dawg? Perhaps the most famous bar in Alaska and known all over the world, we paid it a visit and took a tour. It’s small; a tour takes about as long as a tour of our motor coach, and I think the square footage must be about the same. But sometimes good things come in small packages and this must be the case. We thought maybe we would stop in for a brewski (Russian influence in the area you know) but it was so crowded and so smoky, that we just took a couple pics for the record and moved on. Of special note, the dollar signs! No not these: $$$$$. The ones that are made of dollar bills with the name and address of any patrons who care to pin one on the wall- not that there is any room left to do so any longer.

Homer is the halibut capitol of the world. They do pretty well with salmon as well. And Seldovia across the bay was once the herring capitol of the world, and in fact the name of the town is a Russian word for fish (herring implied). With all that fish, and all those fish cleaning stations around town, the bald eagles are pretty much everywhere. They are birds of prey and not scavengers, but we have seen they are not averse to snacking on fish guts (or a nice fillet or two) when they are offered.

"Baldy" air controller at the airport.
Salmon “on the spit”? The first two silvers (Cohos) go into the log book and subsequently onto the grill. Yum!

As part of getting to know the area, we made a day cruise to Seldovia. Not accessible by road (only by sea and partly by rail now) it was once the hub of this part of Alaska. Today it is a picturesque sleepy little fishing village of 300 people (and a few old grumps according to their brochure). The village is built on a “boardwalk” which makes it different for Alaska, but a lot like many parts of Maine. We thought it had the distinct feel of Boothbay Harbor, which felt kind of like home to us. We’ve had many a good time with friends in Boothbay.

Like everywhere we have been in Alaska, the vehicles have cracked windshields, dogs in passenger seats, and a camper incorporated one way or the other.

The Russian Orthodox church looks over the village and was an interesting little building.

The boat ride to and from Seldovia was a great part of the day. In Germany they have the Autobahn highway. But the ride to Seldovia is more like the “Otterbahn” as rafts of 50 or more otters could be spotted along the way and singles popped up absolutely everywhere. Most of the females had pups riding on their bellies- and while they are adorable and highly photogenic, I found it darn near impossible to get close enough with my camera for a high quality shot.

Here’s Elephant Rock. When you first see it the elephant is drinking. But as you get closer and pass on by, the elephant lifts his trunk in an apparent wave to visitors. Cool!

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