Recently our reporters made two separate forays to Portland, Ore. No, this wasn’t a big story investigating the People’s Republic of Portland. We went south because we both have family there. However, we did discover something awesome and amazing in Oregon.
They have spring.
You may have forgotten the concept of spring. In Oregon and other temperate parts of the United States, it goes like this: Sometime in late February or early March the snow melts, if the area ever had snow. By mid-March and the equinox, leaves start appearing on trees and flowers bud. By late March and early April, the landscape has turned green and colorful.
Holy Rhododendron! One day the Betster took a walk in the Crystal Palace Rhododendron Gardens by Reed College. Hipster Portlandia families in tattoos and weird hair strolled the grounds. The Betster had to wear shades the colors were so bright. Even the Farmers Market had real fresh veggies, something we’re not likely to see in Homer until the Fourth of July. OK, it rained, just a light drizzle, but that’s the Pacific Northwest for you.
Meanwhile, in Homer, there have been rumors of spring, like crocuses popping up in planters and sightings of sandhill cranes. You can actually see grass in downtown Homer, although it’s brown and has a funky smell. Maybe the coolest sight was a big street sweeper stirring up dust on the Sterling Highway. Some businesses have even cleared their parking lots, which makes it easier on those of us with allergies.
Oh, and there’s another sign, eh? People have been hacking and wheezing from all this dust. Or maybe that’s the last gasp of the Homer Crud, which the Betster seems to have picked up upon return to town.
Be patient, Betsteroids. Although the Lower 49 states get a jump on spring — New England apparently excepted — no state does summer better than Alaska. Our reward will come. So get out and celebrate the great life in the Great Land, maybe with some of these Best Bets:
BEST GET AWAY BET: With the ice going out on Beluga Lake, it won’t be long now until floatplanes start taking off. Check out one of Homer’s many fine flight seeing and bear tour companies from 5-7 p.m. today at Bald Mountain Air for the monthly Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center Business After Hours. See the big planes and tour the hangar on FAA Road next to the airport. There will be prizes and pizza.
BEST GO HOLLYWOOD BET: Sure, lower Cook Inlet has been in a lot of reality TV shows, but on the big screen? Wow. Catch Disneynature’s “Bears” at the Homer Theatre. Local bear viewing company Hallo Bay helped with the filming. The film shows 6 and 8 p.m. Friday-Wednesday and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
BEST PORTABLE ART BET: You can really wow your friends at the next big potluck with one of the Bunnell Street Arts Center’s original painted plates. The annual Plate Project opens at 5 p.m. Friday followed by Bunnell’s annual meeting and a potluck. Visit bunnellarts.org to see the cool art. Get first dibs on plates by joining at the $250 level, but a $100 membership earns you a plate.
BEST BROADWAY BOUND BET: You won’t have to visit the Big Apple to see live Broadway acts. Playing at
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Wasabi’s Fusion is “Broadway Babies.” It benefits Homer Council on the Arts’ summer HomerARTS Camp. Tickets are $50 front row, $240 second row table of six and $35 general admission, on sale at HCOA or www.homerart.org.