Day 25 – Homer to Bird Creek Campground

We woke on the beach in Homer and it turned out to be a pretty good night sleep. We packed up and headed in for some housekeeping. I had not had a shower since the Hostel outside of Denali and it was time. Plus we had to do some laundry, get the truck washed, and get the websites updated. So we found one of the cool things here in Alaska, a combination laundromat, shower facility, coffee shop and internet connection. Showers were $8 for 30 minutes, Laundry was $12 for the big load and $3 to dry and Internet was free. I was able to get the site updated and the photos uploaded.

Seal or Sea Otter? Seal=Correct
This is a sea otter – we saw one in the bay eating a crab.

We then left for the visitor’s center in Homer and boy did they have a good one. It was very interactive and informative and definitely want to come back. We are on an overland trip and I did not budget for all of the extra side trips that are available in Alaska and oh there are many. There are bear viewing tours where they guarantee you will see bears (must be flying to Canada because so far we have not seen one bear in Alaska). There are water taxis that will take you to one of the local islands and come back for you in the evening, so you can walk and explore all throughout the day. There are plane rides over to the glaciers and to the wild lakes. Definitely I want to come back to the Homer area since that is a great jumping off place to the Aleutians.

Amazing glacier across Cook Inlet

We were initially going to head to Kodiak island to see the bears, but neither of us felt up to the ferry ride and the three days of extra travel so we explored Homer a bit and did a drive down the coast and then up to the bluff. We did a small hike to a Fen (its like a bog but the water flows out of it and is not acidic) hoping to see some animals, because the sign said “wildlife viewing”. We did see birds, so that counts, I guess, but after trapesing around the Kep we headed back to the truck and got in. As we turned on to the road a cow moose and her calf walked in front of us across the road. Those buggers are FAST and its hard to get the camera out to see them. We turned around and tried to get some pics of them, but they vanished into the boreal forest.

Our 2.5 hour wait to get through the Sterling Highway

We headed back north later in the afternoon and did see about 3 more moose before we made it to Soldolma. We hoped to visit the visitor’s center at the Kenai Wildlife Refuge, but it was after 5PM and all the animals headed home. Its probably a good thing because about 15 miles out of Soldoma we encountered the forest fire that had obscured the views from the day before and it had turned and was headed toward the road. We had to wait about 2.5 hours before our convoy was allowed to pass and the fire was close. (Take a look at Carl’s website for videos). We did finally make it to Cooper’s landing and headed onward toward Anchorage. We decided to spend the night in Bird Creek campground just outside of Anchorage. Long but fun day.

Sunset through the smokey air