On the Way to Homer, Alaska
Blue Bus Diner
Get A Burger!
You're on your way from Anchorage to Homer Spit. It's about a five to six hour drive if you go straight through. But why hurry? I know the salmon and halibut and razor clams are waiting for you, but some one-of-a- kind experiences can be found along the way. Take your foot off the gas pedal long enough to look around.
Cookie Jars and Cheeseburgers
Believe me when I say, "You can't miss the Blue Bus Cafe." This bright blue stranded caravan could wake you out of a sound sleep. Yes, it's cheesy! So order a cheeseburger and be glad you stopped! Where else are you going to see a collection of cookie jars? I ask you... where else?
Those fishing lures can be pesky, especially if you are a novice fly fisherman/fisherwoman/fisherkid. Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna has two dummies where removed lures are displayed. It's amazing how large the hooks are. OUCH! The nurses and doctors place the lures on the part of the dummy where it was stuck in a person. Seems like the hands and face get stuck more often than other areas of the anatomy. Yes... we actually drove to the hospital and walked into the emergency room to see these two mannequin friends. It was funny in kind of a sick way. No pun intended of course.
Not A Bracelet... But Rather Alluring!
More People Caught Than Salmon
This hospital did give new meaning to the phrase "goin fishin." Apparently every summer the medical staff removes over a hundred lures from fisher people. Looks like more people are getting caught than salmon.
The Name Of This Razor Clam is Yummy
Razor Clams in Clam Gultch
Another great stopping point is Clam Gulch. If you don't have a four wheel drive... you can still get the feel of clamming. We parked at the public lot 20 miles south of Soldotna in the Clam Gulch State Recreation Area. It's easy to fill out the registration and pay $5.00 to park. You don't want to drive down on the beach in a regular vehicle because the glacial silt can be treacherous.
We did walk down to the beach without the typical boots, shovels, and buckets. People were only to happy to let us dig one clam. Looking for the dimple in the sand, and then acting quickly is the way to get some chowder. This young man even named his clam. He called it "Yummy."
Next Stop Normon Lowell Gallery
Norman Lowell Gallery
The Norman Lowell Gallery is located between Anchor Point and Homer at Mile 160.9 Don't be alarmed by the somewhat steep dirt driveway. It's worth the upward tilt.
I first heard the name Norman Lowell when I visited the Anchorage Museum. Several of Lowell's original paintings are on display there. One week later, while listening to the Park Ranger on Fox Island, more of Lowell's life was discussed. It seems that Lowell was going through a bit of an artistic slump so he took his son to Fox Island. It's a rather isolated island near Seward. After spending several months painting and living there, Mr. Lowell returned home. His career spiraled upward and everything changed for the better.
Meet the Artist Himself
When you enter the gallery (which is only open from May to September) you will be greeted by the sound of classical music. It's a surprisingly large gallery. There are numerous Alaskan artifacts and things like mammoth tusks to see in addition to the Lowell paintings. The day we visited, Norman was working in the gallery. He kindly took a few moments to greet and speak. In fact, he's the one who suggested we visit the extensive gardens and the old original homestead cabin on the property.
Original Homestead Cabin
I Can't Imagine What This House is Like in Winter
Arriving in Homer
Once you arrive in Homer you'll find dozens of things to do. Be sure to tell your friends about the stops you made on the way. Too many folks drive direct and miss half the fun. The old saying, "Life is a journey... not a destination" is true. Leave some time in your schedule for the journey to Homer.