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Homer Food Pantry

August 10, 2013

Alaska – Monday, July 29

I stayed in the motel room til 11 – taking advantage of hot water and their good wi-fi service to do some more computer work. I have been falling behind in Alaska with my blog and other emails due to the sporadic timing of being able to get online. But I’m happy to at least have a little service here and there! Before I left, I called the Homer Food Pantry to see what kind of donation would be most helpful, and they said a financial one would be good since they can use it to shop up at a big food bank and get about 5 times as much as I could with the money.

The Homer food pantry is open every Monday, and it seems to be fairly well known in the community. In addition to the big garden up by the approach to the town, lots of people plant an extra row in their gardens so they can donate extra produce to the food pantry. And this time of year, there is tons of good, fresh produce. I arrived at the food pantry shortly before they were due to open for the afternoon. There were a lot of volunteers getting all the different tables set up, and there was even a little lunch for all the people who brought in food, or who would be helping all afternoon. The produce table was practically sagging with the garden bounty that people had brought in – everything from bushels of potatoes to fresh tomatoes and greens of all kinds. Alaskan gardens are very prolific! There was also non-perishable foods, and a bread/dessert table with food donated from local stores, and everything necessary to help needy families get through the next week. It’s a really nice set-up in a church basement, and they’re able to help a lot of people. They also are able to make home deliveries for people who can’t get out and about.

Then Tula and I were off again along the spit for some walking. I walked along the whole “spit” area, passing more sea planes tied up at docks, and taking off. I’m not sure if they’re mostly for sight-seeing tours, or if they’re simply a convenient mode of transportation in this far-flung town. And I passed an old boat graveyard – a bunch of derelict old boats that would have fascinating tales to tell if only they could talk. We covered 4 miles along the water, and then we went to the little town, and watched some more fishing boats coming and going, and did another mile and a half of walking. Tula waited for me in the car during one of the walks, and she has discovered her new pillow really does support her weight and has a comfortable new place to sleep in the van – a spoiled dog! I enjoyed some halibut chowder – the lady only had a half-serving left, and then was sold out, and that was a perfect amount.

Then it was time to say good-bye to Homer and start the drive around the peninsula to Seward. I called ahead to a campground there, and reserved a site, and I also decided since I’ve been very frugal on this trip with all the camping, that I would splurge on a glacier boat trip tomorrow – I can’t leave Alaska without getting out on the water! It would be my Alaskan grand finale. I was able to get a last-minute reservation on the first boat out tomorrow morning. I enjoyed the pretty drive around the peninsula to Seward – hours of driving, and again I was happy for the extended daylight time. I drove for miles along a big river, and there were dozens of people out in the water in waders fly-fishing. Trout, maybe?? Some of the fishermen were so clustered together I wondered how they had room to cast their lines – it’s obviously a very popular fishing spot! The drive south into Seward along the snow-capped mountains is beautiful. We got set up at a busy camp – fishing trips were coming in even late at night, and guides were cleaning fish and hosing down tables and boats at 11pm! Sometimes it’s hard to think about sleep when it’s light out so late!

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