I can’t say that a remote cabin in the middle of the woods has ever been the stuff of dreams for me, but life in Alaska has been changing my city-girl ways. By force! So, ready-or-not, a cabin in the woods is exactly where I spent my most recent birthday.
In order to get to said cabin, we made the 4.5 hour drive from Anchorage to Homer, a small town right on the tip of the Gulf of Alaska.
To use the word beautiful would definitely be an understatement.
In fact, it was almost impossible to take a bad picture.
All of the wildflowers were in bloom, as well.
Simply beautiful. The view was not too bad either!
Our first stop in Homer was the small farmer’s market, held every Saturday during the summer. They had live music,
locally grown veggies and handmade goods,
food trucks and picnic tables,
and “synergistic wishbones”?
Moving right along….we headed down to the Homer Spit. Apparently, a spit is a portion of beach that extends out into the ocean, and occurs due to various wind patterns. Who knew?
|Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor|
In Homer, the spit is where all of the trendy shops and restaurants are, if you can call them that.
But we had fun browsing the little shops, anyway.
And one of Homer’s more recognizable landmarks, is the Salty Dawg Saloon. The cabin was originally built in 1897, but became a pub in the 1950’s.
The inside was absolutely covered in money.
And I mean every inch of it, floor to ceiling! I wasn’t expecting that.
And, finally, we reached the land’s end. Literally.
It was an unusually sunny, but brisk and windy day and the girls always love searching for shells or interesting rocks.
This guy? Definitely a tourist. Alaskan fishermen don’t wear flip-flops and shorts. He had lots of questions for his seemingly more seasoned neighbors, as well.
Such as this guy. I hope he got lucky…
Before catching our water taxi to the cabin (yes, that was the only way in), we decided to grab a bite to eat.
When in Homer, eat the halibut, of course. This little shack would even cook your catch, fresh.
Fish ‘n chips for everyone!
And it did not disappoint. Crisp and crunchy breading, melt-in-your-mouth flaky halibut, fried to perfection! Besides, Matt has always said that his favorite food group is the “brown food” group. Anyone else?
Okay, now off to find the water taxi.
Fishing poles. ✓
I’ll have to admit I was a bit taken aback that we would just throw our stuff on the deck and sit, (or stand), wherever. Okay…
There was a very small cabin, but the girls wanted to sit outside, so storage bin seating it was.
We rode the taxi for about thirty minutes to our final destination, Kachemak Bay.
As it turned out, storage bin seating was in fact, a great choice.
The ride was a bit bumpy (or a lot bumpy at times), but the girls loved the wild ride.
And who doesn’t love the wind in their hair and the sun on their face? Therapeutic.
Our beautiful cove for the next twenty-four hours. No roads, no cars and very little civilization.
The back gate lowered and we prepared for landing. Pyka, the taxi dog was a big help, and did her job well.
We had a very warm welcome from our hosts Rick and Dorla, of Seaside Adventures,
and our bags were collected in the most unique of ways. Definitely a travel first.
Now to check in to our cabin,
a bit of a hike.
but the grounds were beautiful.
And we were even issued rain boots upon arrival, a must in these parts.
And now to our adorable one-room cabin in the woods.
There was a small sitting area with two futons,
a queen-sized bed,
a small kitchenette,
a nice balcony,
and a million dollar view.
Did you notice I didn’t mention a bathroom?
Found it! Though probably the nicest outhouse I’ve ever used, this definitely constituted “roughing it” for me. But I must admit, I enjoyed the view….
With no inside plumbing, our washing took place outside, as well. The girls enjoyed this immensely.
The rest of the evening was spent fishing,
and exploring the cove.
At low tide we were able to study sea plant life. The following plants were like bubbles which Eva said “gave the most satisfying pop” when stepped upon. I agreed!
No luck on the fishing, except this little guy. The girls carefully re-homed him.
My favorite part? Sitting on a warm rock, listening to nothing but the faint breeze rustle the trees. Exhale.
But not for long, I had an appointment to keep.
An appointment at the “Alaskan-style bath house”, where the water was heated with a fire, and I could hardly wait.
However, when I walked in, I didn’t see a tub anywhere. What?
Apparently, ‘Alaskan-style’ means that you stand in a dry sauna room and pour buckets of hot water over yourself. Oh.
Not exactly the luxurious soak for I which I hoped, but strangely refreshing nonetheless.
Then it was back to the cabin for birthday drinks on the deck.
Matt even brought memories from one of our ‘not-so-rustic’ accommodations. No satin slippers included here, I’m afraid.
But the view was unbeatable. Goodnight.
The next morning brought a storm front and lots of rain. Not to mention a power outage. (Yes, these are Alaskan summer temps. Sigh.)
Unfortunately, our full-day kayak trip was also canceled due to the storm.
We had many hours to kill before the water taxi could pick us up, so we hiked,
the girls had a steady flow of hot chocolate,
and I sat on the balcony with my crossword puzzle. (No Wi-Fi is nice for a time, then you REALLY miss it.) Though I was bundled up head-to-toe, I know I had about one inch of ankle showing because at least twelve mosquitoes partook.
Normally, during the kayak trip, a salmon soup is made and served up right on the beach. We were really disappointed to miss that opportunity, but Rick so generously offered to make us the soup anyway. However, first, we foraged for all of the greens,
and learned quite a bit about local plants in the process.
A beautiful bowl of fresh, naturally-grown food!
The Alaskan parsley was my favorite.
And the soup was fantastic! Rick and Dorla kindly invited us to their place, where we enjoyed salmon soup, homemade sourdough bread and fantastic company.
From strangers to friends.
And time for this adventure to come to an end. Back on the water taxi,
but we sat inside the cabin this time. Not quite as thrilling, but much more dry.
(***Side note- If you are a fan of any of the Alaskan “reality” shows, (most of them are filmed out of Homer), our taxi driver discredited their reality. And he seemed just about as hard-core Alaskan as they come, and has consulted on quite a few of the shows. So there you have it.)
A cabin in the middle of nowhere? Just the thing I never knew I always wanted for my birthday. (And Wi-Fi.)