Story last updated at 11:10 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2002

Homer's Best Bets
For the past couple of months, the Betster has set a pace more appropriate for a starving ant at a monster picnic. Days have gone something like this: mow, water, dig, weed, sit in traffic on Lake Street for a half-hour waiting to turn left, work, work, work, load up boat, head for dock, head back for bait, head back to dock, hit water, fish, fish, feed large amounts of bait to hungry cod, return, go to grocery store, buy fish, eat, sleep. But this morning, the Betster took note of a family of swans on Beluga Lake, munching peacefully on some green stuff, and decided it was time to slow things down a notch or three. Summer will be over before we know it, and the Betster plans to do some loungin' before then. If you are of like mind, feel free to peruse these best bets for some leisurely entertainment options.

BEST DROP OUT IN THE WOODS BET: It's time to make the annual pilgrimage to the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust's Krishna Venta Conservation Area at the head of the Bay. Starting at 10 a.m. from the end of East End Road, the Land Trust will take folks on a walk, bike, horseback or 4-wheeler trip to the site of the former "Barefooter" community. This is a Betster favorite because, well, being a barefoot backwoods hipster has always been a life goal. So if you're looking to spend a little time outdoors, and maybe wanting to flashback to those good old days, bust out a little bread (a $10 per person or $20 per family donation is requested) and head out east. Footwear is recommended, though not actually required. Call 235-5263 for details.

BEST SALUTE TO EARTH STUDIES BET: While the Betster wouldn't know a zooplankton from a zoologist (they both hang out in a zoo, right?), the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies has been guiding the uninitiated through the complexities of our little piece of earth, sea and sky for 20 years. On Saturday and Sunday, the center will celebrate its two decades of exploring the Kachemak Bay region with festivities at its Peterson Bay facility and the Wynn Nature Center. On Saturday, the center will host a day of intertidal and forest exploration at Peterson Bay with plant pathologist Lori Trummer. The boat departs at 8:30 a.m. and for a cost of $35 per adult, $20 per children under 12, they'll even bring you home again. Lunch is included. Wynn Nature Center, on East Skyline Drive 1.5 miles east of East Hill, will host events on both Saturday and Sunday, including a $10 benefit barbecue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 235-6667 for reservations or information.

BEST BOOK-READING BET: Glendon Brunk has seen a lot of this state since arriving here in 1968. He ran dogs, explored the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and somewhere along the way, embraced environmentalism. In his latest book, "Yearning Wild: Exploring the Last Frontier and the Landscape of the Heart," Brunk explores all these topics, and will give a reading and book-signing at the Homer Bookstore on Friday at 7 p.m. For more information, call 235-7496.

BEST BATTER-UP BET: There's nothing like a good ballgame to make it feel like summer, and today, the District 1 Senior Softball Allstar Tournament culminates with its championship game starting at 2 p.m. at the Karen Hornaday Park. Five teams have competed for this district title, and word on the street is, this is not a game to miss. The winner of the tourney will represent the district at the state games, so head out and cheer on these players.

BEST NATIVE STORIES BET: What's more relaxing, and interesting, than an evening of storytelling? The Wynn Nature Center has just the ticket. Its evening lecture series, "Northern Native Stories," featuring an Inupiaq storyteller, starts at 7 tonight at Mile 1.5 East Skyline Drive. Call 235-6667 for more information.