Mako's continues to be our water taxi of choice. We haven't had any problems with them besides being late on occasion, but that is to be expected with all the factors that play into across-the-bay travel. They also have a variety of different types of boats (landing craft, catamaran, skiff) for the varying conditions and pickup/dropoff types.
|Homer Harbor on a calm, calm morning!|
|View of Tutka Bay near our dropoff point of Grace Ridge South|
|Calm waters looking towards the head of Tutka Bay|
|The ladder offload method|
|The beginning of Grace Ridge South: the beach|
Blueberries greeted us along the trail as we began the climb. So did one very messy area of downed trees, which ended up being the only downed trees on the trail the whole 7-8 miles. I was appreciative of being an agile and fit person for this obstacle as it involved going over and under a few trees!
|Downed trees made a mini obstacle course|
As we began to climb out of the temperate rain forest and moss-covered trees, the brush increased. Ripe salmonberries hanging over and along the trail tempted us, and I nabbed all the ones the kids hadn't eaten. The trail alternated between being invisible beneath the overhanging grass and being an absolutely perfect trail with no brush in areas with spruce trees. In the brushy areas there were times I would stop and look, unable to visually see the trail anywhere. Then I would look down and edge my feet along to look for the indentation of the trail on the ground. That made the hike a bit slower than it would have been under clear conditions.
|Find the trail--if you can!|
|What not to do: fuzzy pictures from putting my phone (camera) in the waistband of my shorts!|
|I love the sense of drop-off in this picture. The trail down is steep, but not a cliff!|
Of course the kids ran down so they were busy tidepooling when we arrived at Kayak Beach. Curious to see if they'd found anything cool, I headed their way. Denver was waving at me to come, so I figured they must have found something neat. Neat indeed. It was an octopus!
Within minutes the tide had come in and the octopus was no longer visible, but I was impressed that the kids had had sharp eyes and found it. I've seen two octopuses in one summer, after not seeing any before. What a treat!
A half hour past our pickup time, the Mako's landing craft skimmed into sight. It's a slick thing just walking right onto the boat. As we headed back to Homer I took a picture of Grace Ridge. As Denver exclaimed, it seemed so small! Funny how big it seems when one is going up it! It is 3105 feet so that's nothing to sneeze at for a good day hike.
|Grace Ridge as we're heading back to Homer|