Refuge Notebook: The Refuge Notebook passes millennium milestone

“Welcome to Refuge Notebook. This is day one, page one of a new weekly column devoted to life and happenings on the Kenai National Wildlife… Continue reading

A bridge stretches across a fork of Tonsina Creek along the Tonsina Creek Trail on Dec. 8, 2019 near Lowell Point, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Best laid plans

I’ve always been a planner. At age 4, you could find me bossing my father around a meticulously planned tea party — the water (you… Continue reading

A bridge stretches across a fork of Tonsina Creek along the Tonsina Creek Trail on Dec. 8, 2019 near Lowell Point, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Photo courtesy Peninsula Clarion
                                The author in his natural state — a newsroom.

Out of the Office: What Makes an Alaskan?

Here’s a philosophical question for the readers out there —what qualifies someone as being “Alaskan”? Is it strictly a matter of time spent living here,… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Peninsula Clarion
                                The author in his natural state — a newsroom.
A scope looks out at a wetland at Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 27 near Vero Beach, Florida. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up In Blue: Running Through a Refuge

The Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge isn’t quiet. When I ran through the Kenai Wildlife Refuge in November, the only thing I heard was crunching… Continue reading

A scope looks out at a wetland at Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 27 near Vero Beach, Florida. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)
Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: Once upon a phone call

“Why don’t ya cut out the jester routine and get down to some serious investigative reporting?”

Nick Varney

Out of the office: Best place on the peninsula

Tightness in the chest. Queasiness in the stomach. Physical longing tinged with antsiness. Like a sled dog left behind on a training run. It’s happened… Continue reading

The author ran a marathon in the snow on Sept. 21, 2019 in Fairbanks, Alaska and has been feeling pretty blue since. (Photo courtesy Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Tangled up in Runner’s Blues

I’m always looking for the right answer, the right way to do things. I manipulate my Google searches over and over, to find the hidden… Continue reading

The author ran a marathon in the snow on Sept. 21, 2019 in Fairbanks, Alaska and has been feeling pretty blue since. (Photo courtesy Kat Sorensen)
Baked salmon with roasted turnips, brussell sprouts, carrots, beets, kohlrabi for dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2019, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Summery salmon memories

Wednesday evening, everything on my dinner plate was either caught in Alaska or grown in Alaska. The last of the kohlrabi and turnips, a single… Continue reading

Baked salmon with roasted turnips, brussell sprouts, carrots, beets, kohlrabi for dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2019, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Need an exercise plan? Get a dog — a really rowdy, rambunctious dog

Suppose at your latest physical you got a stern lecture from your doctor. Suppose she told you to start exercising more — a lot more.… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Reeling ‘Em In: Nick says ‘So long, and thanks for all the feedback, tips and tales’

Before we roll into the last fishing report for the season, I’d like to say that it has been another great run especially because of… Continue reading

Reeling ‘Em In: Hare v. Pheasants could be plot of Homer ‘Sea Side Story’

Last week, as dawn morphed from a dull steel radiance to a crimson ember’s glow, I had just stepped out of the cabin to head… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Let’s pour one out for Mother Tutka

For the two years I’ve lived in Homer, I’ve managed just two trips across Kachemak Bay that haven’t been work related. If I keep up… Continue reading

The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from the East Fork Moose River bridge on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy Robert Kuiper)

Out of the Office: Burnt out

The first time I reported on the Swan Lake Fire, I didn’t even mention it by name. On June 6 – 84 days ago as… Continue reading

The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from the East Fork Moose River bridge on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy Robert Kuiper)

Reeling ‘Em In: Labor Day tourism was slow, but fishing was smokin’ hot

Over the Labor Day weekend, the Homer Spit looked as though the holiday had been over for a month. The lack of RVs, tents and… Continue reading

In April, a sunrise was often paired with rain in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled Up in Blue: All this rain

When I asked Peter what I should write my column about this week, he suggested I talk about swimming in lakes. It was intuitive, since… Continue reading

In April, a sunrise was often paired with rain in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Reeling ‘Em In: Smoky days didn’t stop Nick from catching some righteous cohos

Last week was a bit wild with the fire flare ups, road closures and hanging smoke. Until the winds finally showed up, the inside of… Continue reading

A pair of tents sits at the Infinity Pools above the Tutka Backdoor Trail across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska, on July 9, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Taking our time on Tutka Backdoor Trail

Twenty-one miles and 6,000 feet of climb? In four days?” The scene was the lobby of the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center in mid-April, immediately… Continue reading

A pair of tents sits at the Infinity Pools above the Tutka Backdoor Trail across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska, on July 9, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Reeling ‘Em In: Silvers won’t get relief from sun until later in the month

It looks as though the weather forecast bodes well for sun worshipers and vendors hawking SPF 100 body-goop that claims to prevent the human hide… Continue reading

Reeling ‘Em In: How to introduce a youngster to Alaska fishing — and get skunked, too

Have you ever experienced a quintessential week of angling where you were able to introduce a young visitor to such a cool Alaska adventure? Most… Continue reading

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