We got crabs in Homer... doh!
Trip Start Apr 30, 2009
17Trip End Jun 05, 2009
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Consult Mountford travel itinerary.
Get Crabs in Homer.
Right-o. Today's 'Amazing Race challenge' didn't appear too difficult. Unlike Tokyo, there was no 'Yen limit'. We're in a country that (kind of) speaks English. Homer challenge looked as good as done.
There's lots of ways to catch crabs in Homer, Alaska. Lots of people have them. They can be nasty little critters when upset (yes, we watch Deadliest Catch on TV), so today in Homer we elected not to actually 'dip our hand in' so as to speak, but to let someone else help us get crabs. One can go off in a little boat and catch sea creatures and bring them into town to be 'processed'. Appealing as that may sound, we declined because it sounded a little yucky. We're from Canberra for goodness sake. My boots are made for walking, not fishing things out of the sea (imagine the damage! Waterproofing spray can only do so much!) "Find a restaurant you dopey Aussies" was the general recommendation.
There are several different types of crab from which to choose, so, being the Aussie 'Crab Dundees' that we are, had to have the biggest ones going. We're in Alaska. Bring us a crab. Dead. Cooked. Hot. With chips and a little salad (please). And one of those 'finger bowls'. So, in a little restaurant next to the water in Homer, Alaska, we ordered an unlucky Red King Crab. Soon after a couple of orange spikey legs came out to our table. Sure, they were quite long in an Elle McPherson kind of way, but does this REALLY count as a crab? After Brad surgically snipped and sliced with the provided 'crab scissors' or whatever they're called (and with not a DROP of mess... the man's not human!) we tried to remember how many other legs a crab has. Go on... guess. Then have a look at the photo we took of our placemat (how informative) and believe me when I say that just two legs fed us. Much as I wanted the whole damn crab on my table, we really couldn't have eaten it.
We also had grilled Halibut (they kind of pressure you here until you give in and eat some...we think it's the state fish or something). We were very relieved not to have to follow the Hakodate method that we saw in Japan where one chooses a crab to slaughter, and then watches as it slowly succumbs next to a boiled egg in hot sea vegetable broth. God bless America.
Homer is a lovely little spot of a couple of thousand people. It's full of those lovely Alaskan-looking trees and artists and fish. Damn cold (have I mentioned how handy the 1.2kg boots have been?), but then there were a lot of snow-capped mountains and all to add to the rather bitter, snowy wind. People went to great lengths to point out that the town is not named after Homer Simpson. Perhaps it would be better off named 'Fishy', 'Crabber' or 'Mooseville'. We're thinking of running a local competition for a better town name.
If we were to run a discussion group on the topic of a new town name, perhaps McDonalds would be the place to play host. We were there first thing this morning for the cheap (free as it turned out) Internet access and enjoyed watching the locals gradually drag themselves in wearing all manner of animal-based clothing and shoes. My faux fur boots were a little too 'faux' for Homer me thinks but our accent did certainly ensure that free Internet coupons flowed thick and fast. Sure enough, by 10 am a women's group had formed in one corner, some old guys were hoo-ing and hah-ing over hotcakes about the local bushfire and groups of randoms looking for unlimited coffee passed through with their own mugs. Yes, once again, our 'go to Maccas to experience local culture theory' held true. Disappointing there was no McCrabbies on the menu, nor a McMoose, McSalmon burger or Brown Bear Happy Meal. Ah well, there were still cheap T-shirts and 'made in China' stuffed toys up the road a bit to please us tourists.
Still haven't had a moose encounter. They don't always just wander down the street like on T.V. You know, if I ran a cruise ship company, I'd arrange for a moose or two to be employed solely to please tourists. And whilst we're on the topic of me running the ship, I'd make people who are too good at trivia go and sit in the corner and be quiet after they've won their Volendam key chain, and what's with only having ONE late night chocolate buffet? We're already suffering from B.B.B. (Body Buffet Bloat), so just put the chocolate out at 10:30 EVERY night!
So, over and out from crab central. We're off down the inside passage tomorrow. Busy day though. Apart from all that glacier admiring, I've made the grand final of the pasta cooking competition with the 'Prawn & Pesto Pasta', and Brad's got a Nintendo Wii challenge and a soccer kick-off to participate in with a friendly non-competitive, non-threatening manner.
See you in Sitka!