People walk the beach on the New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2020, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People walk the beach on the New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2020, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

OK, Betster persons, admit it. January at the End of the Road can get a wee bit quiet. Well, not just quiet. Quiet we get on a serene winter day as the snow gently falls, muffling the sounds of the city. In January we’re beyond serene. It’s like one of those scenes in a post-holocaust movie where everyone has vanished or been eaten by zombies, and the zombies have been conquered by armies of roaches. In post-holocaust movies, the roaches always win.

Now that the holidays have ended and we’re done with two three-day weekends in a row (four days if you got lucky), Homer has closed up. Normally a lot of businesses take the month off to clean up, touch up the interior walls, take a vacation and sit down and order supplies for summer.

The pandemic has kicked that into a super January. Businesses that might have reopened after New Year’s Day have said, Oh, heck, let’s just take the next week off, too. Part of that is caution to avoid a possible uptick in cases from holiday travel and gatherings. Part of that is, well, exhaustion. People struggling to hold it together just needed time off. “Dwell time” they say in the military, a time to really do nothing but sleep in, relax and take a deep breath.

Breathe, citizens. Meditate. Pay attention to mind and body. Tidy up. Do a load of laundry or two. Chop some wood. Get out and enjoy winter because, well, heck, this has just been a pretty darn good winter so far. And if you need something else to do, check out these best bets:

BEST CLEAN IT UP BET: There is a Hazardous Waste Collection Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Homer Transfer Facility. This event is for households and small businesses. All businesses must pre-register with NRC Alaska. Households with 55 gallons or more total must also pre-register. NRC Alaska manages this event; the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Dept. provides the location. For specific questions regarding disposal, fees and to pre-register, call NRC Alaska at (877) 375-5040. For general questions, call Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Dept. at (907) 262-9667.

BEST WONDERLAND BET: It might be soggy and snow challenged downtown, but up in the hills it’s a winter wonderland. The snow just keeps coming down. Head out to the Carl E. Wynn Nature Center at Mile 1.5 East Skyline Drive from 1-3 p.m. this Sunday (and every Sunday through winter) for Wynn-ter Sunday and Family FUNdays. Snowshoes are provided and two firepits are going to keep you warm and socially distanced. Enjoy s’mores kits for a tasty treat. Take a self guided tour or join a naturalist led hike.

BEST BEER ART BET: The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting its 3rd annual beer label design contest. Design a beer label for the Grace Ridge Brewing ‘64 Afterbock beer and have your art displayed on each bottle. The theme this year is resiliency. The deadline for submission is Jan. 15. Submit all artwork to Dana Nelson by email, ddnelson4@alaska.edu, or by mail, 2181 Kachemak Drive Homer AK 99603. The winning artist will be announced at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5, with all submissions on display at Grace Ridge Brewing and showcased virtually following CDC guidelines. Contact Nelson for more information.

People walk the beach on the New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2020, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People walk the beach on the New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2020, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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