Best Bets

  • Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center board of director President Kari Ann Baker unveils the cover of the 2018 tourism and recreation guide at the chamber’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at the Best Western Bidarka Inn in Homer, Alaska. The cover photo was taken by Collin Walker and picked in a contest held by the chamber. (Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News)

“For a brief moment Sunday, the southernmost tip of Alaska was warmer than the southernmost tip of Florida.”

So reads the first line of a recent Juneau Empire story explaining that at 2:27 p.m. in Metlakatla, Alaska, it was 65 degrees while it was 62 degrees in Key West, Florida.

“It was the warmest day ever recorded in January in Alaska,” the article proclaims.

If you, like the Betster, are left scratching your head (probably a hatless head given our positively balmy winter so far) as this hot topic that seems to heat up more and more from year to year, perhaps it’s time to just go with the flow.

If this is the way it’s going to be — melting ice bergs, starving polar bears and disappearing permafrost — we Homerites might as well embrace it, right? Just think of the potential of Homer, already a self-professed tourist town, to draw in the big bucks as a tropic hot spot in the near future.

Why fight it? Bring on the imported palm trees, jump start the resort construction.

Forget Key West. Why would pasty, sunshine starved Americans vacation there over spring break when it’s not even as warm as Alaska?

While this version of Homer might still be a few decades off, there’s no need to hold off having fun in the (steadily increasing hours of) sun. Take a look at these best bets for inspiration:

BEST BOOKISH BET: Disappearing into the myriad worlds help within the pages of books is a great way to get through the winter season. You can join the Homer Public Library for the kick-off event for its 2018 reading challenge from 6:30-8 p.m. today at the library. This is a great opportunity to compare notes from last year’s reading challenge. The library will have book lists, refreshments and merriment.

BEST BESH BET:The ConocoPhillips Besh Cup Race Series is a cross-country skiing competition series in Alaska, and is coming up at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 20. Each of the six races in the series draws approximately 300 entries from all parts of the state, so you’ll be in good company. The Besh Cup trophies are awarded to the top junior male and junior female in the series. In addition, Cross Country Alaska awards medals to the series winners in each of the age-classes.

BEST BEATING THE PAVEMENT BET: If you want a way to get warmed up, even in our relatively mild winter, a group of dedicated gals are gathering to walk through Homer in the second iteration of the Women’s March on Washington, which sprouted satellite marches all over the country last year. The Women’s March on Homer 2018 starts at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday with gathering in the HERC parking lot and starting up Pioneer Avenue to WKFL park at noon. A group photo is at 12:45 p.m. and a keynote speak is at 1 p.m.

BEST BOOTY-SHAKING BET: Another great way to escape the realities of wherever you are, whether too hot or too cold, is through music. Head over to Alice’s Champagne Palace for the next installment of its Salmonfest music series. Next up is Moxie Strings, who, with their “top notch instrumental wizardry,” compose the majority of their pieces and arrange melodies from many traditions, resulting in a genre-blurring blend of ear-catching melodies and foot-stomping, rock-influenced rhythms. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. The show is at 9 p.m. Saturday.

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