Tuesday, June 2, 2015
It involved some rushing around and a fair amount of driving, but the Memorial Day weekend trip down to Homer was a success. Grandpa Barnes arrived Thursday night after a long day of changing planes, only to be thrown into a 4 hour drive the next morning. He didn’t complain and before we knew it we all were eating lunch in Soldotna, having left Anchorage early enough to miss the holiday traffic. I needed to return sooner than the rest of the group for work, so I drove separately, though Henry was happy to ride shotgun in the Ranger.
I answered innumerable questions about trucks, fishing, trains, Chicago, and where I camped when I was younger. Henry in turn told me eerily similar stories about the things he did “Back when he was in high school.” I’d call shenanigans, but I know I’d only get asked what that word means.
The weather in Homer was warmer and clearer than usual, though we did have our required moments of rain. The Time Bandit crab boat was moored in town, we walked up and down the spit, paused for some ice cream, and just enjoyed mixing in with the holiday crowds. Also, Henry went in the hot tub at least 6 times. I am quite sure he will refer to this trip as the “hot tub trip” from now on. Piper found the water very pleasant, but the bubbles were a bridge too far – she lasted about 5 minutes.
Fishing on Sunday was just a blast. Our group was large enough such that we opted to reserve the whole boat – a discount and the freedom to tailor the trip to the fishing the group preferred. The King Salmon fishing was a bit slow, but the fish were big and each us of eventually marked our licenses in pen, “Kachemak Bay – King – 5/24“. 6 Kings in the box and off we motored for Halibut.
As always, the last chicken (smaller Halibut) is the hardest to catch, but the fishing was fast and the Halibut were very good sized prior to that. The crew worked very hard to get us good fishing, limits, and funny chatter in between.
Grandpa pulled up a 30 lb Halibut as well as a nice King. Everyone shivered as the breeze cut over the ocean water, looking at the small town of Anchor Point’s cabins and homes along the shoreline. After a long day on the water we ended up cooking brats on the grill, whistling down some cold Alaskan beers, and eventually laying in the hot tub as Henry squealed in turning on the water jets.
We took quite a few trips to the Homer playground, enjoyed some campfires on the spit, watched Henry enjoy collecting shells and coal on the beach, and missed the traffic by arriving a day early and leaving a day late.
Grandpa will head back to Wisconsin with a full box of Halibut and all of our clothing smelled like campfire. A perfect trip.