Best Bets

  • Smart moose A moose crosses the Sterling Highway near the crosswalk at Pioneer Avenue last last Tuesday night.
  • A moose browses on alder bushes by the Homer News last Tuesday evening.
  • Smart moose A moose crosses the Sterling Highway near the crosswalk at Pioneer Avenue last last Tuesday night.

Yo, visitors from far-off lands. If you want to see moose in Homer, here’s a hot tip from the Betster: stay up late. Recently what with city meetings and stuff, yours truly has been working past sunset. That’s an Alaska summer solstice sunset, too, at 11:30 p.m., not a wimpy tropical day ending at 6 p.m.

Last week while driving home, I saw four moose. One chowed down on the alders next to the Homer News, two romped through Beluga Slough chasing sandhill cranes and another walked across the Sterling Highway at West Pioneer Avenue. That one used the pedestrian crosswalk. Smart moosey. I think the law says that just like for humans, you have to stop for a moose in a crosswalk.

Desperate tourists looking to add “saw moose” to their Alaska travel journal might pay good money to see the big critters. The Betster remembers meeting some visitors in a motorhome who asked if I’d seen a moose. Nope — and then 2 miles away a pair of grizzly bears crossed the road.

That’s Alaska for you. Prepare to be surprised — and alert. In Japanese martial arts, that’s called “zanshin,” awareness. Be on the look out for moose and you might notice two brown dots moving across the slough.

We live in Alaska because just when you get used to this amazing place, something comes along you never expected. Blizzards. Volcanoes. Earthquakes. A rare bird. Spectacular sunsets.

If you’re new to Alaska, consider yourself lucky, because every day will bring something marvelous. We’ll join you. It might be something new to us, too.

There’s one thing that doesn’t surprise the Betster — we always have fun things to do, like these Best Bets:

BEST SOUTH SIDE BET: If you’re looking for an arts getaway this weekend, head on over to Seldovia for its annual Summer Solstice Music Festival. It starts at 11 a.m. today with a boat ride with attending musicians on the Seldovia Ferry and an open mic at 8 p.m. at Susan B. English School. Listen to busking musicians throughout the day on Friday. Concerts run at 6:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Passes are $49 adults, $16 teenagers. For more information, visit Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival on Facebook.

BEST THOSE KIDS BET: Pier One Youth Theater has been creating generations of theater people for decades. Check out the latest group of talented youth with Youth Theater Sharing Performance at 3 and 7 p.m. Friday at the little red theater on the Spit.

BEST AND THOSE ADULTS, TOO, BET: Oh, and while we’re talking about Pier One, don’t miss Outrageous Jazz at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The jazz ensemble features Karen Strid-Chadwick on keyboard, Ray Booker on bass, Dale Curtis on trumpet, Cameron Cartland on drums and Brenda Vulgamore-Hune on vocals.

BEST HEAD ON BET: If you see runners going both ways on the Spit this Saturday, don’t be alarmed. New for this year is the Cosmic Hamlet Half Marathon, starting 9 a.m. at the end of the Spit. Meanwhile, the annual 10 k Spit Run starts at 9:30 a.m. for walkers and 10 a.m. for runners at Homer High School. Both races end at the End of The Road Park. See story, page 8 for details.

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