Homer’s Best Bets

The fun thing about living in Alaska is that it challenges us to get out of our comfort zones and embark on great adventures. Sometimes this happens in our own homes, like when a blizzard dumps 3-feet of snow on us or the power goes out for five days and we’re forced to wash up with bottles of fine French mineral water. Other times we deliberately go out into the wilderness, often to win great prizes. That would explain why dozens of mushers cheerfully batter their sleds into kindling on the Iditarod Trail. Glory! Fame! A new truck! Money!

Iditarod mushers know what they’re getting into, but sometimes people do things that make you wonder, “What the heck were they thinking?” Take the Anchorage guy who thought he would paddle from the Spit to Seldovia on Monday — at night, without a PFD and a marine radio, and in a canoe. Lots of people have paddled or rowed across Kachemak Bay in kayaks and rowboats. Heck, the ancient people who once lived here paddled around in wood and skin boats and did just fine.

But a canoe? Fortunately, the bay was fairly calm, and someone alerted the Alaska State Troopers to go search for the guy. They did and got him safely to shore.

Alaska can be wild enough without pushing it. It can be amazing and awesome if we do push it. Alaska can be deadly if we push it and aren’t prepared. Moms might forgive fools, but not Alaska. She just doesn’t care.

So go ahead, embrace adventure, but file a trip plan, wear your PFD, keep your marine radio handy and don’t forget those signal flares. And if you want some low-key adventure, heck, life can be pretty exciting just walking around town, like with these Best Bets:


BEST BIG CITY BET: We’re not quite in tourism season, so not every gallery has First Friday openings, but there are a few openings this Friday. New shows include Chrstina Whiting’s photography exhibit at the Fireweed Gallery, “Falling Through the Rabbit Hole,” and Annie Duffy’s sculpture exhibit, “Signs,”  at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Other galleries continue shows you might have missed
because of the big storm in Feburary. See page 8 for all the details.


BEST WAY, WAY OFF BROADWAY: Pioneer Avenue is a bit out of the 10018 zip code, but you can still find great theater. And who knows? Maybe one of our local playwrights will have a show someday in the Big Apple. Meanwhile, see what local writers have done with “Under Construction,” a reading of three plays by Nancy Chastain, Mary Langham and Kate Rich at 7 p.m. Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts.


BEST BIG SKATE BET: Yee-hah! It’s three days with 10 teams of the Bantam Championship Hockey Tournament. The games run 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. The championship game is at 3 p.m. Monday.


BEST CHECK IN BET: What is the state of the city? Are we doing OK? Need improvement? Find out when Mayor Beth Wythe and City Manager Walt Wrede deliver the State of the City address at noon Tuesday at the Alibi for the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center monthly luncheon. Lunch is $14; make reservations by Friday at 235-7740.


BEST SILVER DAYS BET: Wow! It’s been 25 years since the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust started. That’s half the time Homer has been a city. Ever since Yule Kilcher made a conservation easement out there on the Kilcher homestead, landowners have been putting their property aside for posterity. Celebrate KHLT’s accomplishments at its big birthday bash starting at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Down East Saloon.