July 21, 2013

July 21

Staying in Homer in a small, beautiful yurt with an incredible view of Kachemak Bay and the mountains behind it.  My host is Darren, a wonderful guy, a guitar player, carpenter, and Gypsy (my assessment) of rather Buddhist persuasion who is originally from SW Florida.

Darren says we have become friends. I love that. I adore having friends, especially ones who want me to come back and see them again. He said, “Welcome Home!” when we were out drinking at the bars the other night. These are good signs for making a home-base here. Darren is a Good Guy, and I trust and respect him. He has friends here who genuinely like him. All good signs.

I want a few places that I love (for the land, the physical place, and for the culture and the people). New Orleans is one; Homer is perhaps a second home-base. One in the city, and one in the country. One north, and one south. Perfecto. Primo. As they used to say, “Fuckin’ A.”

My other repeated-visiting areas are: Marin County and San Francisco, California = Anya and Alon. Ventura County, California = Seth, Noelle, and Myles. Boulder and Nederland, Colorado = Megan, Sam, Archer and Jeramy.


Kachemak Bay has very extreme tides.

The tides at Kachemak Bay are extreme, with an average vertical difference (also called mean range) of over fifteen feet (15.53ft, 4.73m), and recorded extremes of over thirty-one feet (31.72ft, 9.67m) as measured at the Seldovia Tide Station. The highest tide on record is over twenty-five feet (25.25ft, 7.7m) above MLLW* and occurred on November 15th, 1966. The lowest tide on record is almost minus six and a half feet (-6.47ft, -1.97m) from MLLW and occurred on April 27th, 2002.

*Mean lower low water:

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses mean lower low water (MLLW), which is the average height of the lowest tide recorded at a tide station each day during the recording period. MLLW is only a mean, so some tidal levels may be negative relative to MLLW.



The Bay of Fundy is known for having the highest tidal range in the world. Rivaled by Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, King Sound in Western Australia, Gulf of Khambhat in India, and the Severn Estuary in the UK, it has one of the highest vertical tidal ranges in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records (1975) declared that Burntcoat Head, Nova Scotia has the highest tides in the world:

“The Natural World, Greatest Tides: The greatest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy…. Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, has the greatest mean spring range with 14.5 metres (47.5 feet) and an extreme range of 16.3 metres (53.5 feet).”



Homer, Alaska:

Pop. (2010 survey) = 5,003

89% White

22 sq. miles (10 are land; 11 are water)

The median income for a household was $52,057, and the median income for a family was $68,455.


Here’s what Annie Dillard writes in Pilgrim At Tinker Creek:

An infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn’t the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn. In a couple of years, what he will have learned instead is how to fake it: he’ll have the cocksure air of a squatter who has come to feel he owns the place. Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighborhood, view the landscape, to discover at least where it is that we have been so startlingly set down, if we can’t learn why.

I think Aspies divert less from their “original intent” than many other people do. I think we fake it less. We do sometimes fake NT behavior until we have the confidence to be ourselves. This confidence comes from a.) knowing we’re Aspies (and loving it) and b.) from getting together with other Aspies and realizing that we’re all very similar to each other.


I have to  watch out for moose when I go to the outhouse here at Darren’s. Mice and voles run around on the ground.

As a couchsurfer, I am really exposed. I am at the will of my CS hosts. When they are warm, friendly and loving, I am so happy. I think, “Maybe I’m ‘home’; maybe this is somewhere I can return to and be welcomed by ____ (whomever) whenever I return here. Maybe I can find love here.”  If my hosts are (or, in the course of my visit, become) cool, detached, and  indifferent people who want to know just how long I am staying (because they have someone else coming), it hurts. I pretend it doesn’t, but it does. I do have an alter-ego though: Gypsy Traveller Me. I can finally switch into that mode (if I am rebuffed). I then feel happy and strong and I do some “down-the-road” planning for my upcoming trips; it gets me out of my funk from being “abandoned” (that’s the hole in my heart).

I fall in love so fast. And all of us long-distance, constant Travellers get lonely sometimes. Vulnerable is the word. I am definitely emotionally vulnerable out here. Alone and travelling, I am tough and very removed from emotional entanglements. But in the house of a charming, wonderful host, I become very open emotionally. I am, after all, still looking for my Special Someone. Maybe I have found him; I don’t know.


Homer was a camping place for the Alutiiq People who lived across Kachemak Bay on an island.

Alutiiq people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sugpiat (pl) Sugpiaq (sg) Sugpiak (dual)
A Sugpiaq dancer man with Agnguaq
Regions with significant populations
 United States (Alaska)
Sugcestun, English
Russian Orthodox Church
Related ethnic groups
Yup’ik, Aleut

Salmon drying. Alutiiq village, Old Harbor, Kodiak Island. Photographed by N. B. Miller, 1889

The Alutiiq (plural: Alutiit < from Promyshlenniki Russian Алеутъ Aleut), also called Sugpiaq [sg] Sugpiat [pl] (own name) or Pacific Yupik, are a southern coastal people of the Native peoples of Alaska.

Their language is called Sugstun, and it is one of Eskimo languages, belonging to the Yup’ik branch of these languages. They are not to be confused with the Aleuts, who live further to the southwest, including along the Aleutian Islands. At present, the most commonly used title is Alutiiq [sg] Alutiik [dual] Alutiit [pl]. However, these terms derive from the names (Алеутъ Aleut) that Russian fur traders and settlers (in 1784 Awa’uq Massacre) gave to the people from the region.

The Sugpiaq term for Aleut is “Alutiiq” and all three names (Alutiiq, Aleut, and Sugpiaq) are used now, according to personal preference. Some Alaska Natives from the region have advocated for the use of the terms that the people themselves used to describe their people and language: Sugpiaq [sg] Sugpiak [dual] Sugpiat [pl] to describe the people (meaning “the real people”) and Sugstun, Sugcestun, Sugt’stun, Sugtestun to describe the language.

They traditionally lived a coastal lifestyle, subsisting primarily on ocean resources such as salmon, halibut, and whale, as well as rich land resources such as berries and land mammals. Before European contact with Russian fur traders, the Alutiiq lived in semi-subterranean homes called Ciqlluaq.

The Alutiiq today live in coastal fishing communities, where they work in all aspects of the modern economy, while also maintaining the cultural value of subsistence. In 2010 the high school in Kodiak responded to requests from students and agreed to teach the Alutiiq language. The Kodiak dialect of the language was only spoken by about 50 persons, all of them elderly, and the dialect was in danger of being lost entirely.



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