As short as our Alaskan summer may be, it still seems to be enough to embolden us and lull us into a pattern of traveling at speeds an ornery moose would surely love to take advantage of in the dead of winter’s night (or, you know, 3:30 p.m. in January).
With winter fast approaching and darkness already encroaching, it’s a good time to slow down and remember we share the road with beasts who know nothing of conventional traffic guidelines or driving etiquette.
The Betster got this reminder the other day whilst traveling up a street right in the center of town after dark, when a large piece of white plastic on the side of the road caught the eye. Turns out it was moving because a moose calf was investigating it, right next to the pavement, with its mother in tow. The Betster’s breath caught and the brakes were pressed down a little faster than would have been safe if, say, the street had been icy.
Even the common white tail deer, inferior to moose in many ways, have the decency to have reflective eyes and fur so that motorists can take caution to avoid them. But not the mighty moose. You’d think the state of Alaska would have by now engineered a moose with just those qualities, so invested are many of its employees in tracking the great beasts’ every move.
Alas, until then, drive safe my fellow Homerites. And take a peak at these best bets:
BEST BARLEY-FLAVORED BET: Nothing says late fall like a good winter beer. Luckily, you can find one along with good conversation at the Barley and O.A.T.s (Outdoor Adventure Talks) events. The next one is at 5:30 p.m. today at Grace Ridge Brewing Co. and features Kachemak Bay Research Reserve biologist Steve Baird and his stories of adventure from Katmai National Park and Reserve. The talk lasts 20 minutes and is free to attend.
BEST BON VOYAGE BET: Saying good-bye is never fun, but thankfully parties are usually thrown in conjunction with someone leaving. Longtime Homer midwife Mary Lou Kelsey is retiring after 35 years of service and bringing more than 1,000 wee babes into this world. You can help celebrate her legacy at 5 p.m. this Friday at the Best Western. Bring stories, photos and mementoes to contribute to her keepsake box.
BEST ROUGH ‘N TOUGH BET: Ever wanted to hear just how Homer’s earliest inhabitants made it work in such rough and tumble times? Your chance is coming up at 2 p.m. on Saturday, when there will be a Panel of Alaskan Women Pioneers moderated by Daisy Lee Bitter. The panel will take place at the Homer Senior Center.
BEST BET: If you haven’t yet switched gears over to fall and winter sports, it might be time to consider doing just that. Public open skate is back at the Kevin Bell Arena on the Homer Spit. Pay $5 to get in and $1 for skates (if you don’t have them already) for some good winter fun. If nothing else, watching the Zamboni do its thing never gets old.