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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Homer

October 15th, 2013 · No Comments

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When I stayed with my friends Marveen and Wayne at their home in Nikiski, Alaska, I often made the 95 mile drive to Homer at the southernmost point on the Kenai Peninsula that you can reach by road. I went there five times.

My first trip to Homer took me to the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Taking a short walk from the visitor center down the Beluga Slough Trail to Bishop’s Beach was a memorable experience. The sky was clear, the weather was warm, a slight breeze was blowing, and the marsh was shimmering in the sun as I talked with a couple from DC as we stood and watched a pair of greater sandhill cranes who had painted themselves with the orange mud. I told the tourists that after we get home they needed to remember this magical moment in our lives. Of course, I was really telling that to myself.

One of the Painted Sandhill Cranes near the Beluga Slough Trail

One of the Painted Sandhill Cranes near the Beluga Slough Trail

Click on the picture above to enlarge

At the visitor center itself I lucked out by meeting and becoming friends with two volunteers, Sue and her husband John. I happened to get to the center just before she was scheduled to lead a free birding tour of Homer that offered a great introduction to the area. Later, they invited me to a private tour. John drove us out East End Road up the bay where, at some place that I couldn’t begin to pinpoint, we got out and walked an animal track through really boggy ground to a lake. What a beautiful setting! By that I mean the total absence of any sign of human destruction of the land. We saw a pacific loon and a pair of trumpeter swans and three duck chicks (without their parents) on the lake. On the way back Sue and I lagged behind to photograph some beautiful Alaska flowers, including a Star Gentian that she subsequently identified for me.

A Star Gentian Flowers in a Bog

A Star Gentian Flowers in a Bog

Click on the picture above to enlarge

On my third trip to Homer I stopped at the Baycrest Hill Viewpoint overlooking the spit (which looks much better at a distance than up close). In the late afternoon I had much more favorable lighting that the previous times I had stopped there to photograph the scene.

Fireweed Brightens the View of Homer, the Homer Spit, Kachemak Bay, and the Mountains Beyond

Fireweed Brightens the View of Homer, the Homer Spit, Kachemak Bay, and the Mountains Beyond

Click on the picture above to enlarge

My next visit to Homer took me out on Kachemak Bay itself.

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