Holy howling winds and talk about surf’s up! Did you race to a local beach to take in Sunday’s show? Every winter, high tides and heavy winds toss water and rocks along the Homer Spit Road, but the last time this Betster encountered anything like what we just experienced was in 1993. Pushing my way along the high tide at Mariner Park Beach, yelling to be heard over the wind and waves, others yelled back in agreement that 1993 was when they recalled too. One young man pulled into the parking lot as I was getting ready to leave and head to the carwash, a big smile on his face. “That was awesome!” he screamed, telling me that he driven to the boardwalks before the road closed, water splashing over his SUV and pelting it with rocks. “Weren’t you worried about losing a window?” I asked him. His response: “It would have been worth it!” Ah, youth!
And now, with workers replacing lost soil along the Spit boardwalks with soil from the City’s dredge pile, we move on to winter. Once again, fall crept and then leapt into winter, with snow that was previously noted to be cascading gently down the mountains now catapulting, tromping, stampeding, and racing… almost as fast as many of us are making appointments to get our tires changed over. Don’t let the cooler temperatures keep you indoors. We don’t live here ‘cause it’s easy! As we await the first flakes on the ground, dig out your cold weather gear and enjoy all that our town has to offer. These Best Bets are sure to keep you entertained, educated, moving, healthy, and inspired!
BEST PRE-HALLOWEEN FUN BET: Can’t wait until the end of the month to get your spook on? Chapman School in Anchor Point hosts its annual Halloween Carnival on Friday, Oct. 14, 6-8 p.m. Included in the fun are concessions, games, a haunted house, dessert auction, costume contest, Sasquatch hunt, pie in the face fundraiser, 3D printing booth, and more. This is an all ages, family friendly event with funds raised supporting various school and community events. Need more information? Want to volunteer? Call the school, 907-235-8671.
BEST LEARN ABOUT SOLSTICE & THE SEASONS BET: Ever wonder why we have seasons or the meaning of solstices and equinoxes? On Friday, Oct. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., the Homer Public Library hosts Professor Stephanie Cortes as she shares why the sun shines, the dynamics and position of the planets in our solar system, and the meaning of the fall equinox. Cortes has a Bachelor’s in Physics and a Master’s in astronomy and teaches Astronomy & Physics at Pima Community College. Come by the library’s Fireplace Reading Lounge or join by Zoom at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library/physics-fall-equinox-stephanie-cortes.
BEST CELEBRATE WILDLIFE REFUGES BET: The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s largest network of protected lands and waters dedicated to wildlife conservation. Celebrate the 568 National Wildlife Refuges that span the country, including the 16 refuges right here in Alaska. The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge presents Tracking Puffins in the Kodiak Archipelago by Kodiak Refuge’s Avian Biologist Robin Corcoran and PhD student Katie Stone. Join the Zoom watch party on October 18, 5 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Or watch from home — link can be found at alaskarefugefriends.org.
BEST GET FIT BET: A great way to stay warm and in shape is with yoga. Every Wednesday in October, SPARC offers a free gentle Vinyasa flow style yoga class from 6-7 p.m. with local instructor Allie Setterquist. Open to all ages and abilities, no registration is required, just drop in. Bring a yoga mat if you have one and water. If you prefer to be more active, stop by for Community Open Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. through Dec. 15. Play soccer, shoot hoops, toss a ball around, play Frisbee, just be active. $3 youth, $5 adult.
BEST LOW-COST BLOOD CHECK BET: Keep yourself healthy – the Rotary’s annual Health Fair with discount blood draws is now taking appointments for blood draws at South Peninsula Hospital daily through Nov. 4, 7:30-10:30 a.m. Registration is required and payment is by credit card – sign up at rotaryhealthfair.org. They are also offering flu shots in conjunction with scheduled appointments.
BEST SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY BET: Winter, cooler temperatures and darkness are a great time to catch up on your writing if you let it slide during the sunny, summer months. And if you’ve been writing all along, well then you’re already in the game! Homer Council on the Arts’ presents the 25th Annual Kenai Peninsula Writer’s Contest, now open to all Kenai Peninsula residents for entries through December 16. Categories include poetry, fiction, nonfiction and new this year, flash fiction in the Adult/Open division. Divisions include Adult/Open, Grades K-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-9, and Grades 10-12. Prizes for all in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd entries in each category and division. Contest rules and online entry information at homerart.org.