Saturday, July 10, 2010
This is one of those cute, whimsical events that is so "Alaska." I've heard of the Kilcher Homestead Games before, so when I was reminded of it from the radio today I decided we had to go check it out.
The Kilcher Homestead is down Kilcher Road, about Mile 10 or so of East End Road. It was first settled in the late '30's by a couple from Switzerland. They moved from down by Kachemak Bay up to the present location of the homestead cabin in the 1940's. They had 8 children (2 or 3 to a bunk--3 levels of bunk beds in one room), though the original house was added on to so what you see pictured here is with the additions. It still has the sod roof, and as you can see, incredible views over the hayfields.
The games included nail pounding, 3 legged races, a cast iron fry pan toss and the "Run for the Coal." Aurora got first in the 12-18 Run for the Coal, which was about a mile run down to the beach where she had to pick up a 5 pound bag of coal and then run back up. In the 12 and under category, Denver got second, though he didn't have to run as far and only had to carry a 3 pound bag of coal. Doug managed to toss the cast iron frying pan 91 feet, only 3 feet shy of winning with the longest toss. And while the contests went on, kids pile up freshly mown hay into "nests" or "forts," which kept them fully occupied.
Kilchers still live on the homestead, and in fact, a couple from Michigan is living in the downstairs of the original cabin in exchange for talking to visitors about the place. It is private property and the Kilcher family requests that people call for permission to walk the property or the trail down to the beach (a phone number is listed on a sign when you get far enough along Kilcher Road).
This was our first time visiting the homestead. It was a casual, fun afternoon hanging out. We knew probably two thirds of the people there. The view was beautiful; it was the sort of place you want to have a picnic lunch.