What with all this road construction and utility work, the Betster hasn’t had so much fun driving since the summer years ago when yours truly took Driver’s Ed at Chamberlain High School in Tampa, Fla. The Betster still remembers fondly the gruff coach who rode shotgun, big foot always ready to jam on the extra brake should the Betster do something stupid, like stop at the top of the on ramp to Interstate 75. OK, there the coach needed an extra accelerator.
Holy Warp Speed! It took a while for the Betster to grasp the concept that when entering an interstate you wanted to punch it, not slow down, and smoothly merge into traffic. This might be a concept difficult for new Homer drivers to understand, since the way we enter multi-lane divided highways is to drive 220 miles north and stay on the Seward Highway.
Some days lately it has been a bit difficult to know which rows of orange cones you’re supposed to drive between. Recently the Betster took a left from West Hill Road onto the highway heading east and had to turn at the last minute because the lane that looked like the right one had a big orange diamond sign in it.
Whew. Most of the road work seems to be done, at least in town, although having ventured north recently, the Betster has this advice: carry a book for delays and look out for poorly secured dipnets dangling into your lane. The Alaska rule is that if someone’s dipnet falls off into your lane, it’s yours, particularly if it leaves a nice scratch in your vintage Subaru. This holds for coolers full of reds, too.
Road construction and dipnetting: They’re signs of summers that we must endure. Although it seems like this summer will go on forever, it won’t, all the more reason to seize the sun, like with these Best Bets:
BEST YOU WANT ARUGULA WITH THAT? BET: How often does a sitting governor serve Alaskans with a steaming plate of salmon? Well, maybe hot dogs and burgers. Yup, it’s the big Governor’s Family Picnic today from 4 to 7 p.m. at Karen Hornaday Park. Gov. Sean Parnell is in town with the First Lady and his cabinet. Parnell also makes appearances at noon at the Kachemak Bay Rotary Club and at 3 p.m. at South Peninsula Hospital for the ceremonial turning of the natural gas valve to commemorate gas coming to town.
BEST GOTTA BE THERE BET: Two days of awesome Alaska music. Sunshine. Dancing. Food booths. Fun. Yes, it’s the annual KBBI Concert on the Lawn, also at Karen Hornaday Park, our own little mini Woodstock, hopefully with no mud. COTL is noon-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday, with admission $22 each day.
BEST ALASKA ELEGANT BET: That’s what the press release for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra’s Garden Party says to wear. Elegant? That must mean clean Carhartts and polished XtraTufs. The big do is at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the former Fritz Creek Gardens at Mile 8.5 East End Road. Tickets are $30 at the Homer Bookstore and include music by the Arrete Trio.
BEST OUR GUY TOM BET: Homer writer and former Snewsie Tom Kizzia — he was here back when the News was at Café Cups — has been getting rave reviews for his new book, “Pilgrim’s Wilderness.” Readers have been saying you can’t put it down. Meet Kizzia, listen to him read, discuss the book and get his signature at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Public Library.