Friday, July 24, 2009

Cooper Landing, Homer, Anchor Point and Nikolaevsk AK

7/22/09 We stayed an extra day in Cooper Landing to catch up on laundry etc.. Then we headed to Homer, which is on Kachemak Bay. We Stayed on the Spit, where there was the Pier One Playhouse. We had a great site looking out over the Cook Inlet. We met up with Escapees friends Penni and Dave and spent some time exploring Homer with them. The four of us went to the playhouse and saw “First Friday” what a funny play. The author of the play was in the theater and sat at the end of our row. Our cheeks hurt from laughter.

We took a cruise to Seldovia, and it rained the whole trip. It is a fishing town. We had a 2 hr. lunch, (that is how long it took to get our food and eat) which didn’t leave us to much time to check the town out. We had our lunch at the Mad Fish Restaurant., thank goodness the food was good. We did get to see some wood carvings that they have a contest for every May. We also visited a historic Boardwalk, that was built in 1931. There are still 3 of the original building there and are occupied. It was time by now to get back for our cruise back to Homer. We saw many Sea Otters just swimming, diving and putting on a show. We also saw a whale which was a surprise to the captain, he said this very seldom happens. There were so many varieties of birds that we can’t even remember the names. We need to get our bird book out. It was a very nice 6 ½ hr. cruise considering the rain.

Sunday a quiet day, Penni and Linda wanted to visit the Bead store. We also went to the Homer Pratt Museum. It had a beautiful Botanical garden (raining again). They had artifacts from the first natives. They have 2 live web cams one was broadcasting from Gull Island, which is about 8 miles, showing puffins,cormorants and many more Sea Birds. The second was at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary that is across Cook Inlet. This cam showed the Bears waiting for food in the river. There was Mama and her two cubs trying their best. There must have been about a dozen walking around the water. We did get to see two of the bear catch a fish. This cam is very popular with everyone. We even went to a Mexican Restaurant and had great Pizza.

Monday We went to Anchor Point This is another fishing town, aren’t they all? They have a beautiful art gallery and an old homestead. The artist is Norman Lowell and he is fantastic. We got to meet him and talk to him a little before a tour got there. His art is something that belongs in an art museum in New York. His personal home and beautiful garden is behind the beautiful gallery as is his old homestead. We could walk the around the homestead and the beautiful gardens, but not his personal home.

While at the visitor center the young lady suggested we visit Nikolaevsk a little Russian Village. She told us about TheSamovar Café. She did warn us we would not get away without having something to eat, drink and buy something. As soon as we entered she had the menu in front of us and she was telling us what we were going to eat. Next if we wanted to take photos we had to buy 2 beautiful wooden spoons to eat our soup with, and if we did that we could take free pictures, otherwise it would cost $20. to take photos (the spoons cost $27.) next she pulled out all kinds of clothing and started dressing us for the photos. She took about 8 photos of us. Next we sat down to eat we had Borscht, Piroshki, Pel mini, dessert and Russian tea.

Still in costume we ate our dinner, Bob didn’t like the Borscht, the Piroshki ok and the Pel mini we took home because she talked us into dessert and tea. She is a great salesperson. We were snookered into everything. What an experience. Her name was Nina and she told us all about how she came to Alaska and about her heritage. She taught Russian at the local school. The girl at the visitor center sure was right. We also visited an old Russian Church with a Blue Onion Dome that was in the village. It is a settlement of "old believers".

On our way to the last stop of the day, in Anchor Point, we saw A Mama Moose and two little calf's, (they weren’t so little). This was on our way to the most Westerly Point on the North American Continent accessible by continues road system. It was raining and very foggy so we couldn't see much, had it been a clear day we could have seen three volcanoes(guess you can’t see everything). Keep in touch, we will send photo's soon.


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