Friday, August 31, 2007

Bishop's Beach

When we first moved here, I kept referring to Cook Inlet as "the lake" since I am used to the Great Lakes. It seemed the same to me. However, the more time we spend walking on Bishop's Beach, the more fascinating it becomes. The pictures above show Bishop's Beach to the north and south of the parking lot that is right in town. The picture on the left is the way we usually walk. You can walk the beach 15 miles in that direction to Anchor Point. There is also trail to a beach halfway, at 7 miles, and many people make a day hike of that, parking a vehicle at each end.
The biggest difference with this beach and the Great Lakes is the tide and the sealife. Kachemak Bay (which is where this beach is located,off of Cook Inlet) has some of the highest tide changes of anywhere in the world. In fact, there is only one other place that has a greater difference between their high tide and low tide. What this means is that the beach is always changing. Of the dozens of times we have hiked this beach, it is never the same. Two days ago (the full moon), was a very high tide. On the picture on the left, it would be within feet of the cliffs. On the picture on the right, it was all water! Tides bring such fascinating sealife and plants in. We find hermit crabs, kelp, seaweed, shells, clams, mussels, oysters and many more that we don't know what they are. We have seen sea otters swim right up to the shore, and yesterday a bald eagle flew over and landed about 30 feet from me on the sand (it was low tide) with a fish that it proceeded to eat. The eagle's nest is on the promontory you see on the right picture. It had 2 baby eagles in it this year.
The first few times we walked the beach, Denver would take bags and collect "treasures" and bring them home. Now he settles for only the "coolest" things.
There are not a lot of hiking trails in Homer, so if we want to go for a walk, the beach is generally our first choice. Where once it was Aspen Park in Gaylord, now it is a beach that is always changing.

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