Day 10 - After a yummy breakfast of fresh pancakes and waffles prepared lovingly by our hostess, we bade our hostess goodbye. We had to be in Anchorage by late evening to catch our red-eye flight home. We did a small hike up the nearby Crow Pass Trail and spent the rest of the morning wandering about the Forest Fair.
Forest Fair - a sampling of the booths
Post lunch we headed back to Anchorage. The weather gods were in our favor today. Somewhere along AK1, the sun came out and everything just looked beautiful. The same scenery that we had passed along a few days ago looked so different and spectacular with the sun shining on it. There were a lot of hikes that we could have taken along the way but it was very windy and so we decided to pass on the hikes and drove straight to Anchorage (of course we stopped umpteen times for taking pictures).
AK1 when the sun is out
Dall Sheep - this guy had come down the cliffs and pretty much caused a traffic jam on the freeway
I had heard a great deal about the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail - a 11 mile long coastal trail in Anchorage. Once in Anchorage with a 5-6 hours to spare, I convinced V that we should bike the trail. Typically navigation and estimation is V's domain and I let that be. So once he approved, we rented two bikes and off we were biking the trail. Now, what V hadn't realized at the time he signed up for this was that the trail was not a loop, which means time-wise he had only accounted for biking 11 miles. I had assumed he would have looked into all of that. However, it became clear to me that something was off as he started making frequent stops and looking at the map with a look of confusion on his face.
It all worked out in the end and he managed to get us back in time, but till we made it I was anxious if we would and felt bad for not allowing V enough time to think and plan our route.
Views along Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Bald Eagle seen on trail
We didn't have much time nor many options for dinner. We grabbed a quick bite at Humphry's Alehouse in downtown and made a dash for the airport. Once at the gate we reminisced about the last ten days.....we'd had a wonderful time and everything had worked out as planned except for a few snafus ;)
Day 9 - It was time to say goodbye to Homer. Tonight, we had reservations at the Carriage House BnB in Girdwood. We had fallen in love with Homer - its quiet serenity, the view of the mountains from our BnB and the constant calming chant of the birdsong. So we took a walk in the morning to take it all in, one last time before leaving town.
I often like to buy an inexpensive item that we can incorporate into our daily lives as souvenirs of our trips. At the onset of our trip, I had spotted a lovely scarf with native Alaskan motif on a fellow tourist. Upon inquiring she had mentioned that she had purchased it locally. I knew then what I wanted as a souvenir! From then on, every visit to any touristy shop had me searching for one and one thing only - a fabric scarf with native Alaskan motif. As luck would have it, my shopping jaunts so far had been unsuccessful. Naturally I was ecstatic when I found the object of my desire during a chance stopover at the Alaska Wildberry Products store in Homer!
With the prized possession in the bag, we spent the rest of the morning browsing through some more art galleries and gift shops in Homer. While at the Pratt Art Museum, we met artist Barbara Lavallee. It was fun to meet the artist in person especially because we had seen her work at other art galleries in Homer. After a brief stop at the Farmers Market, spent some time at the Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center.
Farmers Market - More than just produce!
After a quick soup and sandwich lunch at the Two Sisters Bakery & Cafe we bade adieu to the lovely Homer and started our journey north to Girdwood.
Russian Orthodox Church @ Ninilchik (on the way to Girdwood)
A light drizzle greeted us at Girdwood. Our BnB was a in lovely garden setting and our room small but comfortable. It was almost dinner time by the time we reached Girdwood. Rachel our host recommended Jack Sprat Restaurant for dinner. We decided to walk to the restaurant. The town was bustling with hippie tourists - we learnt that the crowds were due to the Forest Fair happening in town. Jack Sprat seemed upscale and consequently we had very low expectations of the food. Jack Sprat far exceeded our expectations - the food was exceptional - the day ended on a high note!