Best Bets

Weaning off of tourists, returning home from fishing, and sending children to school, Homer residents are beginning to settle in for the closing of the summer. What memories have you made? How did our ecosystem greet you in a way which it never has before? Did your garden produce something spectacular? Did your feet roam distances previously undiscovered? And did you find yourself, for at least a moment, enjoying a peace and connection under the midnight sun which was completely novel to you?

The Betster hopes that these questions stir something up within you. Remember, it’s not too late to create a memory of this summer. There is no way the Betster can prescribe the outline of how that significant story may unfold, but it surely is out there waiting to be lived in whatever unique way you find it.

As the dirt road which leads to Chez Betster becomes fit for mogul skiing, and mud envelopes yours truly’s crocs during late afternoon walks, the Betster’s aware of the last breaths of this summer, which consist of some melancholy and a hand full of raspberries.

The Steller jays cawing on the porch railing. The sandhill cranes gliding overhead in a clunky yet exceedingly graceful manner. Friends telling stories of fish caught. Community sports played outdoors as the sun begins to set. These moments, too, are the last words which we’ll hear as our light wanes.

After many years spent in Homer, and many sunsets, the sight of dreamy gentle orange clouds swirling and sloping over the mountain tops always inspires awe which takes hold. As the summer season concludes, we can find beauty in the quiet daily miracles of the sun rising, awakening this vast cocoon of Kachemak Bay which we call home, and the roaring, fading lullaby as the sun sets and life takes on its more tender sides.

Oh, and we certainly cannot forget about the stars which will become visible as our season fades. Nowhere in the world do stars shine like they do here.

For now, however, summer still walks, though on tired legs, and can be enjoyed with these Best Bets:

BEST PEOPLE IN TIGHTS BET: Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” continues this weekend from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 18-21 and Aug. 25-27 at the Pratt Museum & Park. Directed by Val Sheppard, “Robin Hood” is packed with thrills, romance, laughter,and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian. “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who takes on the ruthless powers that be. So get ready to duck a quarterstaff or two — you won’t want to miss a moment of the swashbuckling fun!

BEST HIT THE TRAILS BET: Homer Trails Alliance (HTA) holds a geocaching event on Saturday, Aug. 20. Show up anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Eveline trailhead off Alpine Meadows Drive. HTA volunteers will be available to help you get started on a fun treasure hunt for the whole family. Come prepared by creating an account at and have your GPS or smartphone at hand. Bring a small non-food “treasure” to trade at the cache. Enjoy a favorite Homer trail and hone your navigation skills to find treasure. Check out Homer Trails Alliance’s Facebook page or call Jeanne at 435-7649 for more information.

BEST APPRECIATION BET: Veterans, active-duty military, and their immediate families are invited to a free Veterans Appreciation Picnic from noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at American Legion Post 16, Mile 2.5 East End Road. Local Veterans Organizations will have information on services available to Veterans. Don’t miss out on the fun with burgers, hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches, live music by K Bay Renegades, and door prizes. Hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16.

BEST SWAP IT BET: Pass on old gear or get some new-to-you equipment at the Homer Hockey Association’s 2022/23 Gear Swap, happening 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Kevin Bell Arena. Bring your outgrown, unneeded hockey and ice skating equipment to sell. You may also find what you need for the upcoming season. Open to the public, this hockey and ice skating gear swap is a private treaty sale (between individuals) and Homer Hockey Association derives no benefit from any sale — except for gearing up awesome new hockey players.

BEST THE CRANES! THE CRANES! BET: If you haven’t seen the annual gathering of the cranes, head out to spots like Beluga Slough to see hundreds of sandhill cranes group together as they prepare for the migration south. Kachemak Crane Watch seeks volunteers for its sandhill crane population survey in the Homer area (Anchor Point South). Report specific crane sightings on Aug. 20, Aug. 27 and the final count day Sept. 3. Report the number of adults, colts, or banded cranes seen by location, time, and day, and your name and contact information for the final count day to or by calling 907-235-6262.

Pigs race at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Aug. 12, 2022, in Ninilchik, Alaska. (jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Pigs race at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Aug. 12, 2022, in Ninilchik, Alaska. (jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)