Day 12: Homer/Anchorage

June 8, 2011

This morning Matt’s parents left early for their bear sightseeing excursion and after a slight weather delay, they boarded a tiny plane for the 35-minute flight to Lake Clark National Park located west of Homer across Cook Inlet. The weather was rainy, but after a beach landing (note the plane’s large, slightly under-inflated tires) and short walk, they viewed numerous bears grazing and walking through the marsh.

"Take us to the bears, please."


Aerial view of Homer Spit


Brown bears grazing in the marsh


They did see some bear cubs as well

While Rick and Mary were out bear-viewing, Matt and I decided to do a little on-foot sightseeing. The Homer Brewing Company, located on the shore of Beluga Lake, was a 30-minute walk from our hotel. Matt sampled two of their offerings that he had not yet tried, as well as my two free samples (I am not a beer fan), and purchased a pint glass to take home.

The only day we needed the umbrellas


Much smaller than the brewery in Juneau - their distribution is local only.


Our version of bear-viewing, complete with puffin, top hat, and banjo

After picking up some Alaskan-made salmonberry jam for my dad and making a pit stop at the post office, we walked back and had lunch at the Cosmic Kitchen, a eclectic little diner recommended by our water taxi driver. We sat outside and shared a delicious halibut caesar wrap while we waited for Rick and Mary to return from their trip.

Cool fishing mural


Recommended as "best-kept secret in Homer"


One more meal featuring halibut before we leave Homer

After Matt’s parents returned, we jumped in the minivan and stopped by the Pioneer Inn to pick up our bags. Then we hit the road for the 220-mile drive to Anchorage. Oh, but first we stopped at the local McDonald’s to settle Matt’s bet with his mom re: the price of an ice cream cone. Matt won and we discovered McDonald’s will dip your cones in chocolate here a la Dairy Queen. Nice.

One last look at Amy and Rich (Pioneer Inn owners) in 1991 with the 85-lb halibut they caught


We got a late checkout, but missed the owners to say goodbye


Driving back through Kenai Peninsula


North on Highway 1

Back in the glorious luxury of the Parkside Guest House, we chatted a while with Carly about Homer and went to dinner at the FireTap Alehouse (thanks again, Paul, for the giftcard!). Over pizza and local Moose’s Tooth beer, we made plans for the next few days in Anchorage.

Alaskan Blues

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