Day 20: July 5, 2016
Homer Alone

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My cousin had graciously offered to put me up while I was in Anchorage and I was thinking in terms of spending a couple of nights there. If that's what I did, and left on Tuesday, I'd miss her husband who wouldn't be home until Wednesday. Among the suggestions Deb made for keeping me around was a visit to Homer. That sounded good so, instead of starting the homeward bound leg of my trip on Tuesday, I would drive to Homer, spend the night there, and return to Anchorage on Wednesday.

Tuesday's weather wasn't the best but it wasn't horrible. The sky was gray and there was intermittent rain as I drove along the north side of Turnagain Arm. This segment, with road and railroad hugging each other and the water, was becoming just a bit familiar to me. I'd twice been through here as a passenger. I had been around the tip of the arm and through the pass when we went to Seward but new-to-me road was coming up. Through the rain in the last picture, AK-1 continues to the right while the road straight ahead becomes AK-9. Conversely, the it's Seward Highway that takes the straighter path with AK-1 becoming the Sterling Highway. Any ideas I had about Alaskan route names and numbers having a one-to-one relationship are now gone.

Not long after I moved to the Sterling Highway (while staying on AK-1) I made a breakfast stop at the Sunrise Inn.

I left the Sterling Highway to pay a visit to the town of Kenai. I went inside the visitors center then did drive-bys of the Burger Bus and a Russian style church. Alaska doesn't have many reminders that it was once owned by Russia but there are a few.

I drove through old Homer then out on the Spit. I knew just enough about Homer to know that this is where much of the town's action is.

Cousin Deb had suggested a visit to the Salty Dawg Saloon so I sought out a nearby parking spot on the way back from Land's End. I looked over the harbor and someone's catch of the day before going in. The Salty Dawg is two years older than the state of Alaska and is housed in an 1897 cabin that was once Homer's post office. I had one beer then left through the back door where the catch of the day had a decidedly different look.

I did check into my hotel after leaving the Spit but I was soon on my way somewhere else. On the way to my destination, I looked over the Homer airport.

By mainland standards, the 7-barrel system at Homer Brewing Company might seem pretty small but they are turning out some good beer that is sold here and at just about every restaurant in town.

The Driftwood Inn offers much more spacious rooms than mine but the tiny "Ship's Quarters" room suited me just fine. Dinner was right across the street at AJ's Old Town Steakhouse which a friend of Deb's described as her favorite and where I continued my efforts to prove that man can live on halibut & beer.

From my seat at the bar, I could see and hear the evening's entertainer quite well. I had seen his name when I entered but it didn't mean much to me. I was really enjoying his Alaska and wilderness themed music when he played a tune I recognized and I got a lot more curious. Turns out I was listening to something of an Alaskan super-star. This was Alaska's Official State Balladeer, Hobo Jim. At the end of his first show (He would be doing a second one in a couple of hours.) I spoke with both Jim and his wife and bought a CD. Friendly folks. The song I recognized? I did, I did, I did the Iditarod Trail

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