By coincidence, two travelers arrived at the End of the Road recently. Héctor Argiró from Argentina drove here all the way in his 1969 Torino from another end of the road, Ushuaia, Argentina, at the tip of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. On Sunday, Mary Latham arrived in a borrowed blue 2008 Subaru Outback as part of her 3-year “More Good” journey to visit all 50 states and seek stories of human kindness. We’re number 48 on her bucket list.
Welcome, travelers. Dust off your shoes and enjoy our cool little town.
Argiró and Latham aren’t the first people to come a long way. Hundreds of people bike, drive or paddle to Coal Point at the end of the Homer Spit to mark the end of their adventures. Throughout the summer the Betster notices way-cool trucks and vans that look like they’ve come a wee distance. Some sneak in and don’t make a big fuss while others even make it an event.
Holy Hoka Hey! Yeah, we had a bunch of Harleys one year who came all the way from Key West, Florida, our sister city at the other end of the road. It’s all a matter of perspective. For some reason people want to start in the south and head north, but you know the bumper sticker: “It’s not the end of the road but the beginning.”
Homer might seem like the place people end up, but in doing so Homer also can be somewhere people begin. If you’ve traveled 40,000 miles and wash up here, you might think, “OK — now what?” Do you turn your Subaru around and go back? Do you pause for a bit, recharge, and plot your next adventure?
Or maybe, like all of us born here or arrived here, in deliberate or accidental wanderings, we settle in. Here we build roots, or make them deeper. Here we take the “r” out of Homer and make it Home. Here we find that passion that propels us through the rest of our lives. Here we embrace that which we might have avoided. Here we join with other adventurers and become that which we had been all along.
That’s brave, strong, funny, interesting, smart and most of all determined. Not just anyone can come here. Not just anyone can decide to stay here.
So celebrate the totes awesome state of being a Homerite, maybe with these Best Bets:
BEST BARLEY BET: Like talking about the outdoors? Like talking over a beer or two? Head to the next Barley & O.A.T.s: Fat Biking Kachemak Bay tonight from 5:30-6 p.m. at Grace Ridge Brewery. Listen to Catriona and Derek Reynolds share about their love of bikes. The advent of fat bikes opened more terrain for exploration on two wheels. Fat bikes allow for a unique human-powered experience exploring the diversity of wilderness and wildlife along the shores and estuaries of Kachemak Bay. This event is free to attend.
BEST CLEAN UP BET: Get some exercise while bettering your community at the same time. There’s a Community Spit Clean Up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Mariner Park. Clean up the west side of the Spit starting at the park and working between the park and the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. There will be a barbecue lunch at noon at the Water Trail Pavilion and volunteers are welcome to join the Kachemak Bay Birders cleaning up the fishing lagoon at 1 p.m.
BEST COMPETATIVE BET: For the early risers on Saturday, there’s the Run & Paddle to Race the Tide event at 8 a.m. Starting at the Kachemak Bay Water Trail Pavilion, the race goes from the spit to the Kachemak Bay Nationl Estuarine Research Reserve office on Kachemak Drive. KBNERR has partnered with the Kachemak Bay Running Club and the Kachemak Bay Water Trail to create this Run & Paddle. You will be able to paddle through Mud Bay or run next to Mud Bay on the Homer Spit Trail and Kachemak Drive. Updates will be posted to the KBNERR Facebook page and the website calendar. Contact Alice Rademacher with questions at email@example.com or (907)235-4799.
BEST BETTER HEALTH BET: Walk with a Doc us back again this Saturday from 9-10 a.m. at the SPARC. Each Walk with a Doc features a different local health care provider leading each walk. They will tell you briefly about a current health topic, and you’ll spend the rest of the hour walking, asking questions, getting free blood pressure screenings and more. Bring indoor shoes to change into. Walk with a Doc is always free. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SPH Health & Wellness Department at (907) 235-0970 with any questions or suggestions.
BEST BACK AT IT BET: It’s time to get the hockey and winter sport season started — yes already! Celebrate the start of the season by heading to the Kevin Bell Ice Arena from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The gear swap is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the free barbecue is from 1-3 p.m. and free stick time is from 1:15-2:25 p.m. Clean out your closet or trunk and bring your gear to swap or sell or come and get what you need.