Monday, December 3, 2007

Homer Alaska

One of our last rides before winter set in this year was a quick weekend ride to Homer. It was mostly asphalt, but the ride was so pretty we didn't miss the more adventurous riding, or at least not too much! I started on a bit of a bummer, just as I got settled on the bike my iPod stopped playing. I found out later the earbuds were broken. There were 30 or 40 swans on Potter Marsh as we pulled out of town. I should have stopped for a pic, but there were a lot of cars already pulled off the highway and I didn't feel like taking any chances of being run over by someone paying more attention to the birds than to my bike! We left home and rode to Girdwood before we got gas. Thank goodness we have heated grips and Gerbings jackets. It was in the low 30's, and I'm a wimp! I went into the gas station at Girdwood to use the restroom, and as I was walking out a good looking young man, in his 20's I'd guess, came over to talk. I figured he was also a rider and wanted to talk motorcycles. He looked at my gear, and said "You have got to be crazy to be riding in these temperatures." What are the young men of this world coming to? I got a good laugh out of that one, and so did my husband. Of course we didn't mention our electrics...

We stopped again just past the turn off for Portage Glacier for a couple pictures. As we went into the pass I found that my hands were getting cold, even in my winter gloves. I will have to find some new gloves this winter for when the temps drop below freezing. I just can't do the really cold temps comfortably. The weather was nice though, rain in some places, but mostly sun shining on the golden fall leaves. Very pretty, so we made lots of photo stops. Not far after the Hope turnoff we went through an area where they were doing a controlled burn of the under brush. It was fun to see big "bonfires" and know they were serving a good purpose.

We were getting hungry so we stopped in Soldotna at Suzie's Cafe. It's a little hole in the wall kind of place that we've eaten at before, so we knew the food was good. As we walked in and started pealing off gear I realized I was missing one of my new this summer custom ear plugs. Heart sinking feeling, I do NOT want to ride with neither iPod nor ear plugs! I went back out to see if maybe I'd dropped it. I walked all the way to the bikes, walked around them, no luck. As I sadly walked back toward the restaurant I saw my earplug resting on the edge of the step. One quarter of an inch closer to the edge and it would have fallen under the steps. I picked it up relieved and went back inside ready to enjoy my lunch.

We got into Homer a little too early to check into our Bed and Breakfast so we rode to the end of East End Road. After a few miles it turned to dirt and was the only dirt riding we did for the day. The road was twisty and the views magnificent, so we really enjoyed this short stretch of our ride. When we got close to town we saw the sign for the Bear Creek Winery and B&B. We got checked in at the same time as a couple who were honeymooning from England. This B&B has two cabins, a wine tasting room, and a clothing optional hot tub. After putting our stuff in our cabin we went back to the wine tasting room for our complimentary tasting. We ended up buying a couple bottles for later, and to bring home. We caught a taxi into town where we went to dinner at Wasabi's. They have a unique ginger martini that is worth a stop. My husband wasn't too impressed with his dinner, but my seven pepper steak was awesome.

After dinner we had the cab take us to the Salty Dawg Saloon down on the Spit. The honeymoon couple were also at the Salty Dawg, so we spent the evening visiting and getting to know one another. Eventually we went back to the B&B and stayed up until the wee hours sitting in the hot tub drinking yet more wine. We slept in late the next morning, then checked out and rode to K-Bay coffee in the rain. K-Bay Coffee is an award winning organic coffee roaster that tastes better than any other coffee I've tried. Then we rode down to the spit for a few more pictures before heading back to Anchorage. It was raining hard, but we decided to ride a gravel loop side road anyway. It was a great ride, but raining so hard I didn't stop for pictures. We rode pretty easy until we crossed the pass where it suddenly was bright sunshine. The we opened up the bikes and let 'em roll. Very Fun! We stopped once more for some pictures of the swans that had moved to the lake right at the Seward cutoff. We made it home after dark with a great ride behind us to help hold off the winter doldrums.

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