On one of the first sunny days this month, I decided to drive to Homer. There’s something about putting on sunglasses for the first time after a long winter — and this season felt like a long winter — that makes me happy. Nothing beats taking a long drive with the sun on your face and the music playing while you cruise along the coast.
With an early 2000s playlist on shuffle and the snowy peaks of Cook Inlet’s west side acting as a backdrop, I took my time heading south, taking detours in Ninilchik and the overlook near the “Welcome to Homer” sign. I poked into some of my favorite Homer stores and stopped frequently to marvel at the beauty of Kachemak Bay.
This was before the official first day of spring and before daylight saving time took effect, but the spontaneous day trip offered a taste of Alaska springtime magic. It was easy to picture the hustle and bustle of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival and all of the shop signs on the Homer Spit flipping from “closed” to “open,” and hard not to feel excited.
I rounded the excursion off with a white garden pizza from Fat Olive’s, which I ate parked near Bishop’s Beach. I watched the sun go down while watching the waves silently lap the shoreline through my windshield. Others with the same idea parked nearby, and I expressed quiet gratitude for whatever instincts pull people together in beautiful moments like that.
It’s the time of year where, coming out of a long winter darkness, anything feels possible. I’m making lists of things I want to do this summer and was invigorated by how a sunny day in Homer was a small taste of what’s to come.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.