By: Jaron Mobley
I woke up on a cool Alaskan spring morning in the small town of Wasilla. It was 5:30 in the morning and the sun was already shining as if it were midday, a great motivation to wake up. I went to double and triple check I had all my clothing and gear that I would need in my yellow Northface duffle and camera bag. After a warm cup of coffee, I was ready to start my journey south. The highway I took is the largest in Alaska. A four-lane stretch of pothole-ridden pavement that briefly expands to a six-lane freeway in the southern district of Anchorage. Immediately after exiting the south tip of Anchorage I was greeted by the familiar sight of the Cook Inlet and the mountains surrounding the frigid salt water. Driving along the coast always promises the opportunity to see God’s creation at play. Whether it be beluga whales breaking through the icy water or Dall sheep leaping amongst the near vertical rock faces the Cook Inlet always has a world-class display of beauty. After refueling the car at a small ski resort town named Girdwood the journey continued into the mountains. Turnagain Pass is a beautifully carved path in the Chugach National Forest that bridges the gap between Anchorage and the rest of South Central Alaska. After weaving in and around the mountains for a few hours the landscape opened up to a more flat and tundra-like country. Mountains were still gazing from afar and their glaciers made small talk in the wind as traffic made its way south. After navigating what seemed like an endless straight stretch of highway my nose was pricked with the salty mist of the Pacific once again. Kachemak Bay was within sight and with it came the spectacular panorama of mountains, glaciers, and trees. Jetting out from the shore was the hallmark of the destination, the Homer Spit. Much like a small peninsula, the spit is a large formation of sand and rock that reaches out into the bay like a long finger.
Homer Alaska is one of the largest coastal towns in Alaska with about 5,000 residents that mostly rely on fishing and tourism for income. The Homer Spit is one of the most popular Alaskan cruise destinations making it an easy spot to grab a good bite to eat and meet some fun new faces. What most tourists never see are the hills above Homer. The vast expanse of trees and rolling hills that seemed to dissipate into the clouds covering the horizon. The mountain ranges that surround Homer are breathtaking. Looming volcanoes made grand appearances in the distance when the air was clear of the salty clouds and fog.The drive home was equally as beautiful as the way down. Homer will always be one of my favorite destinations in the great state of Alaska, and I’m eagerly looking forward to my next trip down.