Saturday, June 18, 2011


The adventure today was a ferry ride to Seldovia, a beautiful little town on the Kenai Peninsula across the Kachemak Bay from Homer, AK. It’s not connected by roads, so the only way to get there is by water or air. Out of 213 pictures I took today, I’ll share just a few with you.

The ferry boat.


A close-up of seagulls on Gull Island. There were hundreds of them, maybe thousands. And a few cormorants, too.


Gulls atop a dead tree.




Elephant Arch.


Posing with the moose. A woodcarver’s contest is held here on Memorial Day. We missed it but saw some of the handiwork.


Another tourist photo.


An interesting place to explore.


This outdoor market was for the birds!


I bought a lovely pottery bowl for only $5. It will be perfect for guacamole!


The local grocery store.


With eclectic art to decorate the roof.


And fish to decorate the aisles.


There were murals on buildings.


More wooden sculptures.




All the trash barrels were painted differently.


And fire hydrants were decorated, too.


A hopeful dog at the door of the Tide Pool Café.


Where we had lunch.


The tables all had a surprise under the glass.


It seemed like I kept seeing this ‘flasher’ everywhere in town.


People really live here year-round, in houses like these.


And this.


And this.


After walking our feet off and gathering on the porch of a coffee shop to await time to board the ferry homeward, some of us were happy to be ending the day.


Back in Homer, there’s a cruise ship here. The place will be crowded tomorrow.


Most of us have one more day to explore the Homer area. Larry and Marilyn are leaving to try to get their refrigerator and washer/dryer fixed. They’ll rejoin us soon, hopefully.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Homer Day 2

Don went on a fishing trip very early this morning with Dennis, Jim and Larry. They were successful, catching their limit of halibut with 1-day licenses. When he got home, we cut the fish, about 10 lbs, into serving-size pieces, bagged it and froze it. We’ll have lots of great meals from it in the future!

Meanwhile we girls plus Jean Fradette walked to the office of the Seldovia Ferry to book our trip for tomorrow.


Jean very kindly lifted the rope dividing parking spaces for all of us and we repaid him with hugs.


One of the sales agents kindly took our picture. Jean and his harem! His wife Claudette is in the center.


Don and I had a quick bite to eat after he returned, then we had to take care of one of the necessities of life – laundry. When we’re boondocking we can’t use our on-board washer/dryer. On the way back I got a shot of this unusual home. Notice the satellite dish below and to the right of the American flag image.


This place has a mailbox on the road, and its own castle-like turret, along with a lot of other objects we might call ‘junk.’ But it’s obviously someone’s dream home. And you can’t argue that it doesn’t have a gorgeous view.


Mary and Gary arrived today, and we had happy hour with our group of 12 together once again. Mary’s chair was heading downhill backwards. Glad she didn’t tip over and spill that wine!


Carol looks a little cold, wrapped up in a sarape and wearing gloves, knit cap, hoodie. Probably a few layers that we don’t see, too.


Dennis was a little cold, but he wouldn’t admit it.


Was it better to sit in the shade out of the wind? Don and I were in the sun and enjoyed it in spite of the wind.


Eight of us went to Captain Pattie’s on the Spit for dinner. Dennis and Carol had been there before and raved about it. We couldn’t get a single table for 8, but 2 tables for 4 each were available and we took them. Glad we got seating – people were waiting for tables later.

Dennis enjoyed some giant shrimp.


Carol and I had both had the crab-stuffed mushrooms appetizer as an entrée, with clam chowder to start. Yummy!


Double yummy!


Don was extremely happy with a bucket full of plump clam steamers.


When we got back to our home, Don and Shadow took a walk on the rocky beach.


The boat I showed you yesterday was gone this morning, sailed out on high tide about 3 am. Here’s our new neighbor, a little farther out.


But I brought it closer with my terrific new camera!


And still closer.


It was another wonderful day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another Problem, Move to Homer

Another problem with our motorhome popped up yesterday. Dennis pointed it out to Don. The floor underneath our holding tanks is deteriorating, and isn’t providing support to the tanks. In this photo of the underside of the coach going across from one side to the other shows the pan that holds the sewer hose, then there’s a beam of the frame, then a bulge, then another beam and another bulge. There should be no bulges!


Also, we’ve known for some time that we need to replace two small windows: one in the bathroom and one in the bedroom over the chest of drawers. There’s moisture accumulating between the double panes.

And finally, the Diamond Shield coating on the front cap needs replacement. We had it examined when we were at the factory in October, and the tech noted it needed replacement. However, he said if any paint damage occurred during the removal we’d have to go to the paint bay for at least a day, wait for it to dry, then get the replacement of the Diamond Shield. We didn’t have enough time to get it done at that time.

All of this work should be covered under warranty, even though our coach is over 3 years old because they are known problems with Tiffin coaches and others have been covered outside the warranty period.. So it looks like we need to plan another trip to Red Bay, Alabama!

This morning we left Ninilchik and drove up the steep hill we had descended yesterday. Dennis was ahead of us and got on the CB to let us know a wide-load boat was being towed down the narrow road, so we might want to wait. I did so, and when it had cleared the path, I spotted another one coming down so I waited longer. When the path looked clear, I started up, hoping I didn’t encounter another big rig. A boat did come down as we were on our way up, but it wasn’t a wide load so we had no problem.

But, just as I reached the stop sign at the highway, an alarm sounded and the dash read “Low coolant level. Check engine.” I started to turn right to go south toward Homer and look for a place to pull over to figure out what to do. Don said “Turn Left” emphatically. So I turned left, wondering why I had thought south was to our right. If that wasn’t enough to get me rattled, we then encountered the air pressure alarm again. We knew there was a large parking lot at the American Legion, so I drove the 1 1/2 miles to it. Don checked the coolant level and it seemed normal. He performed an air brake test and that seemed normal. The coolant level warning was probably due to the steep hill.

Meanwhile, I got out the map and showed Don where Homer was in relation to where we were. He admitted that he was turned around and had made a mistake in telling me to turn left. But he said we needed to use the parking lot at the Legion to check out the problems, so that was the reason he told me to go that way. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it! We only had 3 more miles on our odometer than the others!

Our trip of 40 miles (43 for us <grin>) was filled with awesome views, but I was driving and didn’t get any shots. Here’s what we awoke to this morning at Deep Creek, in front of our windshield. Don took this photo with the eagle facing us.


Later, I was able to zoom in a little more, but the big guy had turned around.


Dennis was out with his ‘whale’ lens, so I’m sure he got some good shots. There were at least 25 eagles on the beach, with many more in the lagoon on the other side.


We stopped at a convenient dump/water fill station in Homer and discovered a cleverly decorated donation box. Notice the satellite dish on the ‘roof.’ We certainly didn’t mind putting $2 in to support this service from the city.


We parked at the city RV park on the spit for $15/night no hookups. Other parks are very pricey – one is $70! – and we’re well-equipped to boondock. After parking, Don and I drove back to town in search of lunch and a car wash. Lunch was at the Aloha Drive In.


What a cute place, but what a big disappointment! The macaroni salad just wasn’t up to par in either taste or texture. My kalua pig had lots more cabbage than pork, and Don could barely eat the chicken long rice. The rice noodles were gelatinous, and the dish was more like soup. But we had to give it a try to find out.


Homer sits on Kachemak Bay at the end of the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula. With the sun out, Homer glistened. It’s surrounded by wilderness and ocean. The Homer Spit is thought to be the remains of an ancient glacial moraine. Winter storms constantly threaten to separate it from the mainland, but rock walls and the perseverance of residents keep it intact. This picture (of a picture on the wall of the restaurant) shows the 4.5 mile long spit, looking south. We are parked almost at the far end.


The tides here run about 20 feet. After we arrived and set up, this was the view of the ship in front of us. The tide had already started to come in, because the bow was above dry land earlier and even the anchor, far out in front of the ship, was almost visible.


Here’s the other side of the same boat a few hours later. It didn’t move.


After dinner, the tide started going out again, and a truck easily drove on the beach to the ramp that had been under water a short time before.


We had happy hour with the 10 of us (Gary and Mary are still in Anchorage enjoying their daughter’s visit).


Then dinner was a potluck, with Don’s famous pork fried rice setting the theme. We also had BBQ chicken, sweet & sour chicken and vegetables, grilled shrimp, salad and oatmeal cookies. Do we know how to eat or what?



Tomorrow 4 of the guys are going out early on a fishing boat for a 1/2 day excursion. We girls are going to get tickets for the ferry to Seldovia on Saturday, then we might work on some crafts. Seldovia is off the road system, accessible only by boat or air, and should be an interesting place to visit.

Here are a few more sights and scenes from Homer.