Anchorage, AK to Homer, AK (August 20, 2015)

This travelogue report covers my journey on Thursday, August 20th, from Anchorage  south nearly the full length of the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, where I had made a reservation at another B&B. Thankfully this day’s weather started out truly splendid and remained very nice until late in the afternoon..

The following map shows my route for this day’s ride of 231 miles.

My route from Anchorage to Homer, AK

My route from Anchorage to Homer, AK

After saying good-bye to Janice and Scott at the B&B, I departed Anchorage at 8:35 AM AKDT and headed south along the Seward Highway, AK-1. It runs along the northern shore of Turnagain Arm before continuing southwestward on the Kenai Peninsula.

This first photo shows a view southward along the Seward Highway with Turnagain Arm just becoming visible in the distance along with the mountains in the Chugach National Forest towering above.


Now a view towards the southeast where Turnagain Arm merges into Cook Inlet. Adjacent to the highway are the tracks for the Alaska Railroad.


Nearing the eastern end of Turnagain Arm, the view towards the southeast.


After passing the intersection with Portage Glacier Highway, the Seward Highway follows along the south side of Turnagain Arm for a short distance before turning southwest. This next photo shows the view ahead towards Turnagain Pass (El: 1,015 ft / 309 m). Without the signs, I would have scarcely noticed the slight elevation increase.


This next photo shows the view ahead along the eastern side of the highway.


Almost 30 miles further along, I came to another junction in the Seward Highway. It continues to the southeast as AK-9 and terminates in the town of Seward on Resurrection Bay. The other fork continues as the Sterling Highway, AK-1, towards Homer.

Nearly an hour later, I crossed a bridge over the narrow end of Kenai Lake, heading westward. This next photo shows the view towards the Sun.


At the city of Soldotna, the Sterling Highway turns southward near the shore of Cook Inlet. As I rode along, I noticed some large snow-capped peaks on the opposite side of Cook Inlet and tried taking photos while moving. At approximately 45 miles south of Soldotna, I came to a road construction zone and had to wait for nearly 9 minutes. This gave me the opportunity to take a clear photo of those peaks, with the highest being the Mount Iliamna (El: 10,016 ft / 3,053 m), which is categorized as a stratovolcano.


Nearly 28 miles further along and as the highway begins its descent into Homer, I took this next photo of the view of Kachemak Bay and the Homer Spit jutting out into the bay.


Coming into the city of Homer, the highway passes the western end of Beluga Lake, which is adjacent to the Homer Airport. Seeing a pair of float-planes along the south shore, I took this next photo of them and the nearby dock.


As it was still quite early in the afternoon, nearly 1 PM, I decided to ride to the end of the Homer Spit and find a restaurant for lunch. Starting out on the roadway along the Spit, I took this next photo of the view ahead.


Upon nearing the end of the Spit, I took this photo of a few shops along the western side. Although there were some restaurants there, I decided to check what might be at the very end of the Spit.


I next passed by the Salty Dawg Saloon, a well-known landmark there.


When I reached the tip of the Spit at the Land’s End Resort, I decided to see what their Chart Room Restaurant had to offer. It has an outdoor deck with a splendid view overlooking Kachemak Bay. Shortly after I arrived, two other motorcyclists pulled in and we decided to share a table for lunch. Regrettably, I didn’t take any photos while at this resort nor from the deck. After nearly two hours of casual conversation over an excellent meal, we left the restaurant at nearly 3 PM and I departed from the resort. It would be nice to return there again some day.

On the return ride north to Homer, I took this next photo towards the northwest to capture the view. The Sterling Highway can be seen snaking down the slope just east of the cliffs.


My lodging reservation was at the B&B called Juneberry Lodge, located along China Poot Street just to the northeast of Homer in the adjoining community called Kachemak City. The Lodge is a really beautiful log home with a splendid view across Kachemak Bay. The host and hostess, Mannfried and Marcia, greeted me very warmly. The room was very nice indeed. Although I didn’t take any photos inside, their website has several. I did take this one photo outside the next morning before departing.


After carrying my luggage into my room, I decided to make an excursion further east along East End Road for nearly 18 miles, mostly paved except for the last bit. My goal was to explore and take some photos of the scenery. When I reached nearly the end of this road, the view across the bay was stunning, even though clouds had moved in and flattened the light.

There is a very large glacier with two flows visible from that spot. I took three photos to generate this single panoramic view.


I also took telescopic photos of the two glacier flows. Unfortunately I cannot readily locate information regarding the name of the glacier.

IMG_3928s IMG_3929s

By this time it was already 5 PM and I returned nearly 23 miles to Homer to find a restaurant for dinner. I selected AJ’s Old Town Steakhouse & Tavern and had a very nice meal. I no longer recall what I ordered, although it probably was steak.

After leaving the restaurant, I followed the suggestion by Mannfried to ride along Skyline Drive to enjoy a good view of the bay. This next photo shows the view of the Homer Spit jutting out into Kachemak Bay.


By the time I returned to Juneberry Lodge at 7 PM, another couple had arrived and had brought along fresh seafood (probably Pacific Cod or Alaska Pollock), which Mannfried expertly prepared. Even though I had eaten dinner already, I couldn’t pass up their offer of some of their seafood. I joined the group around the fire pit just outside the lodge for some conversation over a couple of beers.

That concludes this travelogue report for August 20th. The next day, I rode back the same highways all the way to Glennallen, as I embarked on my return journey to the USA. More about that day’s trip in my next report.


About Don

I'm a retired computer programmer who enjoys touring the country by motorcycle.
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