If you are wondering they do not exist. That is, unless it is me seeing it from a golf cart at the PSA festival in Colorado Springs. More on that later. We decided the summer travel wasn’t enough and I enjoyed myself last year so come back this year. It has been fun connecting with old friends and meeting new ones.
We came in on Sunday which is always good, it gives us a day to recover and get used to the area. Monday was a lay low day but Monday night the cowboys were out to play. After getting a lift into the bus, (who knew that they had lifts), we were off to the Flying W Ranch. The ranch itself has been in operation for 70 years. They recently rebuilt due to the massive fire that swept through Colorado Springs a few years ago. The ranch featured the standard chuckwagon fair and food line. It also had some Native American dancers which was worth the price of admission. I have to say I was amazed at seeing my first ever hoop dance performed by a 70+ woman. (I will post a video when I am home.)
We were waiting for the dancers to start and you know me I have to be in the thick of things right. So, I invited myself to take a trip around the ranch on a golf cart. There was no way I would make it with the rental chair. (learned lesson from Alaska). Stephanie our driver said she would stop whenever we wanted so we could take pictures. First stop, donkeys almost as friendly as the ones in Custer. Second stop, big horn sheep on the hill feeding. I think I only got butt shots but that is ok.
Here is where I encountered the fluffy small white cow. In my defense I only did a quick look and the color was right. What makes this even more funny is the fact that after my mind said that is not a cow, my mouth kept insisting. I could hear what the others were thinking and not saying. (She needs a lesson in animal identification. She has been in the city way too long. What was she smoking can I have some.) I did get my mouth to catch up to my brain and now know that it was a sheep. At least I make things funny.
On the way out of the event I almost did trying to be funny run over a friend. Not to worry I have all week. This year it was no outings for me as it would be too much of a pain with the chair. However, I will be exploring macro photography and learning more about night photography. I might even get some cool photos out of this trip.
Start your engines! We did one weekend when we were staying in Houston took the small trek into Palmer to watch some NASCAR action. It was another fun night of fitting in with the locals. Of course, I had to buy a shirt. The racetrack is Alaska Raceway Park they also have a drag strip and we decided not to come back the next day to see them race. Intermission brought the kids out to race with their toys.
We saw two fender benders but not any great crashes. Enjoy the video and slideshow.
One Great City. That is what Homer AK has been this trip. We found a nice day to head down to Homer Alaska we were hoping to find halibut hanging from the days catch. No such luck. We are not sure they even do that anymore. Well, when that didn’t work, we decided to dig out the transportation from the car and have lunch. Before lunch we wanted to figure out if Roy and I could take a bay tour and head over to Halibut Cove or Seldovia. Unfortunately, the answer was no. Partially because getting the wheelchair over the lip of the boat, and the fact that this time of year has the lowest tides, and it is a floating dock. (The lower the tide the steeper the incline.) Off to lunch, at Captain Pattie’s Fish House. This place and the boardwalks in Homer are very handicap accessible in a strange way. I say this because the sidewalks are wood slats but are close enough, I won’t get stuck, or tip on any ramps. Not that I’ve gotten stuck before. Lunch was good Roy had local razor clams and I had halibut.
I had a video appointment so that left Roy free to explore. When he came back to get me, he brought bad news Halibut Cove was also out due to the same tide issues. Side note is we both would have been seasick because of the size of the boat. It was so sweet that he would have gone with me even though he would have been sick. I did say this trip I was not buying more t-shirts so Roy heads me directly over to a shop with t-shirts. I had to buy it because it said Salmon Slut F/V. I haven’t been able to see if the fishing vessel is still fishing.
So, shopping done we were off to explore the docks. A visit to Homer is not complete without a visit to Salty Dawgs (this however is not handicap accessible). Although the gift store Salty Girls is which carries Salty Dog t-shirts. Speaking of that area of the dock we saw this halibut charter between
Salty Dawg and Salty Girls called ButtWhackers (not saying a word). Further down the dock we drove the chair and took a few pictures of the harbor.
It was a bright sunny slightly windy day on the Spit which treated us to some Parasurfers for lack of a better word.
A beach on the Cook Inlet side of the Spit had a few brave souls letting the wind catch their sails while standing on a surfboard. I thought letting the wind lift you out of the water might be exciting but also unnerving (I was watching and that is how I felt.
What we did do was drive around the spit and town taking pictures from the car. I had attended a camera club meeting where ‘bad weather photography’ was the subject. Who would have thunk I would use it. Check these photos.
Roy decided seeing I wasn’t doing my trek he said we needed some salmon, so we stopped at Salmon Sisters for sockeye salmon. This will be dinner in a few nights. Along with the fresh halibut I was able to talk one of our neighbors out of. They caught and cleaned it, Roy will cook it, and I will eat it.
So, driving through Homer we saw a bus named Sue and of course had to get a picture of it. The restaurant is an old double decker bus, and you can eat upstairs. It serves tacos.
Although we did not stop because we were on a mission to get wine. We discovered this little winery in 2017 on another trip to Homer. The restaurant I mentioned earlier that we said was now ok is where Roy was introduced to the wine. He tried a rhubarb chardonnay (Roy is not a big rhubarb fan.) So, we headed up to the winery making a long story short. He loved the wine and has received Christmas gifts from here. This stop was on his agenda this year and we made it back. I was also impressed he has now broadened his horizon to include pomegranate / raspberry wine and some others. The best part of the winery is the respect and help they give to Military and Veterans. They even have a parking spot reserved for Veterans right outside the door. So, Bear Creek winery is a must do stop when on the Kenai. Roy enjoyed the tasting room, and I got a t-shirt. If you are keeping track that is 3 t-shirts so far.
First part of the day we decided to be lazy I caught up on my blog and edited some pictures, Roy slept. After lunch we decide to get moving and photograph the Russian Orthodox Church in Ninilchik, the lighting was ok for landscape/ building photography.
The cemetery at the church used to be a little less overgrown than we discovered it to be. There is also a Veterans cemetery next to the original one in much better condition. I was disappointed, but it also gave me a chance to explore the front of the church and the cemetery from the front.
The church overlooks the small village of Ninilchik AK. The village is small and old but with good bones. I have enjoyed the beach and it is one you can still drive out on. We haven’t done that yet. I am stressing the word YET. The town is also home to a small fleet of fishing vessels. One of the days we were down by the beach they were in harbor.
The beach here has an advantage over Deep Creek and Anchor Point as there is a dock where the vessels can tie off. On one of our recent visits to the beach we saw a salmon tender. These vessels collect the fish so the fleet can continue to fish.
We have enjoyed parking on the road so I can take pictures from it. There have not been very many eagles down at this end of the beach but that is still good. I was able to photograph some of the few breakers I’ve seen.
The beach here does have some shallow rocks near shore, so there are some danger signs.
The road that runs on the other side of the harbor has a turn out right before you head down the road. It is below the bluff that the church sits on so the opportunity to practice tracking eagles with my camera was ample.
Before we left Ninilchik I happened upon this building I am thinking that it hasn’t been active in a long time, or it has a well-hidden path to the entrance.
When tracking eagles, we always have to stop at Deep Creek which used to be a favorite spot for me. At the top of the road down towards the beach is a charter fishing service J&J Smart Charters and Deep Creek View Campground RV Park. They go out and fish for halibut. When the boat returns the crew hangs the catch for the day up so pictures can be gotten of the fish. So far this was the first time this trip that we were able to capture it as it was happening.
There is going to be a rodeo right down the road on July 2nd & 3rd at the Kenai Peninsula State fairgrounds. I am looking forward to the beach horse race earlier in the day. This is all being sponsored by the Peninsula Horseman’s Association. I do plan on concessions food on the 2nd.
I can’t believe that we have been in one place with the trailer for over a week. I do know there is so much more to explore. I have to run now and get to exploring.