Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:48 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

If the night before's cloudy skies changed to sunshine the next morning, and it happened to be a good minus tide, you could sleep in on a nice Sunday morning and hope the weather held. Time and tide wait for no man, woman and dog, though, so you have to do what the Betster did earlier this week.


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Sandhill shorebirds A group of sandhill cranes strolls on the Homer Spit beach near Mariner Park recently, as if to remind bird watchers that they too can be shorebirds.

Carpe solarem.

That's Latin for "seize the sunshine." The synchronicity of a) sunshine, b) low tide and c) a day off doesn't happen often in the summer. The Betster and the Loyal Canine Companion headed off to The Secret Beach Where If I Told You the Location I'd Have to Kill You. Every town has one, and this is Homer's.

Flat sand that goes on forever. Augustine and Iliamna rising in the distance. Huge bluffs tower above and no cabins, condominiums and beach shacks can be seen. Cormorants cluster on rocks, otters paddle in the surf, bald eagles soar overhead, ravens get rowdy and a gazillion songbirds chirp away. Throw in some sunshine and pretty soon you'll actually be wearing shorts. Yes, in Homer. Imagine that.

For all our grumping about bad weather — which you have to admit happens a lot — now and then this place gets absolutely awesome. We wait all winter for that perfect day, and if we get lucky, that day turns into a week, a fortnight, a month and maybe, just maybe, a summer. Tourists have come to Homer at such times and they leave dazed, eyes glazed over in bliss, faces wind burned and a shade darker, every care left behind like abandoned flip-flops — serene, happy and relaxed. That's the idea of Kachemak Bay, the service our tourist industry hopes to provide.

Good food, fine dining, a comfortable bed and cool places to shop — that's all gravy when it comes to a perfect day on the bay. The best that this town has to offer comes free courtesy of your friendly local deity, Ma Nature or your personal belief system. You have to be ready for it, grasshopper.

You have to be ready for that moment. Chores need to be done, sure, and good books beg to be read, but when everything works out right, seize the sun.

Learn that simple truth, and the wonders of this world will be unveiled. Add on cool things to do, like some of these Best Bets, and dang, can life get any better?

BEST GIVE EARLY GIVE OFTEN BET: Every day a life gets saved because someone gave a precious gift: his or her life's blood. Donate a pint during the South Peninsula Hospital Blood Drive from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Friday in the LIFEMobile van at theSafeway parking lot. Bring photo identification and eat and drink well before donating. Call 235-0338 for an appointment.

BEST BIG CAT BET: Get your own tiger or lion during Adopt-a-Cat month. Visit the Animal Shelter or, at 4:30 p.m. Friday-Wednesday before movies at the Homer Theatre, check out some of the fabulous felines up for adoption. Submit your favorite cat photos to win a movie punch card.

BEST NATTY DREADS BET: Holy cow! International reggae superstar Pato Banton is coming to our little town? Pato has been rockin' the reggae world since he earned his nickname at a lookout at his dad's underground, after-hours dance club. Get some of those positive vibrations and dance at 10 p.m. Friday at the Alibi. Ticket are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

BEST THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT BET: Homer has these little treasures, like Bayview Park, a pocket park where kids and parents can go for some downtime. Help make the park more kid friendly with a work party 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Bring tools and good cheer.

BEST RUN BABY RUN: You just can't keep a good race down. Local runners have jumped in to keep the annual Homer Spit Run going. The race starts at 10 a.m. at Homer High School and ends at the end of the Homer Spit. For registration details, see page 10. Stick around afterwards for the Homer Yacht Club Regatta at 1 p.m.

BEST HMMPH BET: The Department of Homeland Security is not amused. The Transportation Security Agency is not amused. Grumpaholics Anonymous is definitely not amused. You may well be, though, when Pier One Youth Theatre presents "We Are Not Amused," its summer theater camp production. The Betster just loves a director who uses the word "unmiscible" (that which cannot be mixed) in a press release. The play runs 7 p.m. Friday and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10.