Photo courtesy of Scotty Smith
Hope’s Class V waters on Six Mile Creek will only be available for a few more weeks this season.
By Jeanine Jabaay
Turnagain Times Correspondent
Without question, autumn has arrived in Alaska dressed in splendor. The trees have decorated themselves in the colors of harvest, and the fish have laid their roe in anticipation of next year’s return. Fall is arguably the most beautiful and picturesque time to experience Hope.
Photography enthusiasts are drawn to nature’s finest backdrop. Hiking aficionados flock to Hope’s trails to take in the smells and views offered along the coast and through the mountains. And the locals prepare themselves for the last few weeks of the season’s hustle.
Ready to take a wild ride down Six Mile Creek? It’s not too late. Although one rafting company has closed for the season, the late rains have allowed the Chugach Outdoor Center to remain open for business until mid to late September. But don’t delay. Some of Alaska’s most awe-inspiring Class V waters won’t be available to ride for long.
Hope’s End of Season Craft Walk
For one day only, the historic district of downtown Hope is transformed into a maze of talented vendors selling their artistry and world-class foods to celebrate the end of a glorious season in Hope. Stretching from The Discovery Café to the Hope Library and Gift Shop, vendors such as MEZ Pottery, Antista Felts, and Jesse Howe’s Jewelry will be offering their wares in Hope’s End of Season Craft Walk. Come celebrate the pinnacle of a fantastic season on Sept. 13 from noon to 5 p.m.
Local businesses will extend their hours to offer items from Sumthin’ Extra, The Library Gift Shop, Grounds for Hope Espresso, and many more. You won’t want to miss out on Tito’s world-famous pies from the Discovery Café. And you may just go home with an extra henna tattoo or two. Vendor space is free for artists and chefs.
For information on selling at the craft walk, contact Christy Antista at 678-997-9430 or by email at email@example.com.
Season Finale at Sumthin’ Extra
Hot drinks, delicious finger foods and deep discounts are all to be had at the end of season sale at Sumthin’ Extra. Attendees will find extravagant savings when they stop in Sept. 12, 13 and 14. All those who stop in can enter to win a surprise gift – a collection of cell chargers and accessories, sage and a classic kite. The winner will be drawn at closing on Sunday, Sept. 14. Hours of the Season Finale are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Swingin’ at the Seaview Café and Bar
Proudly celebrating its 118th birthday, the Seaview Café and Bar announces that it will remain open an additional two weeks this summer. Traditionally, the Seaview closes on Labor Day weekend. But this year, this town icon will continue to serve great food and drinks while featuring all-star bands through the end of September. After Labor Day, the Seaview will be open Thursday through Sunday, 4 to 11 p.m.
Open Mic Jamn Night continues to be a favorite among the locals. Hosted by Andy Mullen every Thursday from 7 to 11 p.m., stop into the Seaview to hear myriad talented local musicians. From the child prodigy fiddle player to the bluegrass banjo picker, Mullen will guide you through a boot stompin’ and cheering session like no other.
On Friday, Sept. 5, from 7 to 11 p.m., Chicken Liquor will be serving up some fine country tunes at the Seaview. Originating out of California, this band of rollicking twin fiddles and bright harmonies brings a love of traditional old-time music with a raging square dance flair. Award winners at string band contests throughout California, these veteran musicians have been playing together as friends for over ten years. The Tap Root Café correspondent describes Chicken Liquor as “a one-stop, hands down, settin’ the woods on fire band.”
Come out on Saturday, Sept. 6, to hear the Robb Justice Band at the Seaview from 7 to 11 p.m. Combining sounds of rock, blues and country, the classic stylings of the Robb Justice Band ooze Americana and good ol’ food for the soul.
“My songs are stories about either my life or my perspective on life,” Justice said. “Not to sound too philosophical, but individual perception is what makes my art or expression unique. I am totally self-taught choosing to learn from things I’ve felt, seen, heard, or even tasted.” Hailing from Alaska’s own Kenai Peninsula, the group travels across the state making live performances that delight audiences and guarantee repeat future performances.
Bringing back an all-time favorite, the Seaview is delighted to have the Denali Cooks performing on Sept. 12 and 13 from 7 p.m. until closing. The band arrives in town driving an old, beat-up and rusting out baby blue van with spray-painted windows displaying their name, Denali Cooks. This low-key group may not appear too grand, but hold onto your drink during their performances. You will be blown away! Masterfully leading these talented performers, singer/guitar player Larry Zarella shows music enthusiasts the true gift that Alaskan artists carry. Authentic, hearty, lively and inspired, Denali Cooks is a musical group that has a loyal following unlike many in the state. “Every Cooks show is worthy of a road trip to go and listen and dance. Denali Cooks play born in Alaska rock and roll. They write songs that have you singing and dancing from the first time you see them,” said a fan of the band.
Ready to go geocaching? Tourists find themselves on a mission to locate the geocache hidden on the Hope Library property. Geocaching is a fun and low impact way to get outside and explore areas rarely seen or noticed. By simply downloading a geocaching app on a smartphone or tablet, then selecting a general area, the user is given exact map coordinates. Then it’s off to the hunt. Geocaches take many different shapes – a box, bag, capsule and even a bottle.
When the geocache is discovered, the hunter simply opens the geocache, leaves behind a small memento (and is welcome to take one, as well), and logs on the app that they have found the hidden geocache. It is a simple and fun way to travel. But don’t bother asking the Hope librarians where the geocache is hidden. They won’t give away the secret. Hope Library hours are Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 2 p.m.
As the new school year begins, the Hope Huskies have had an action-packed kickoff. From a surprise visit from Sen. Lisa Murkowski to a stellar open house with the superintendent of the Kenai School District, it is clear that the 2013-14 school year is going to be epic. Seven new students have joined the Hope School, bringing the total of students to a whopping 23.
Given that just several years ago the Hope School was in jeopardy of closing its doors due to enrollment falling below ten students, the community is pleased to see such tremendous growth in the younger population.
Every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. is Open Gym night, where the students and the town locals are invited to shoot hoops, kick a soccer ball, flip on a mat or run around wildly outside.
Welding classes have commenced for the middle and high school students. These classes have given a number of Hope School graduates a career launch post-high school.
The workout room, which is available to all in the community, boasts a complete weight set and cardio equipment. The weight room was recently revamped by the proud student body. Stop on in to see if you can beat the students in a rousing game of pool. But beware, these students are known to be quite the pool sharks.
The Hope Christian Church invites guests to join them for an interdenominational time of worship every Sunday at 3 p.m. The third Sunday of every month is a mouthwatering potluck luncheon immediately following the service. For those in need, the church’s food bank is open on Thursdays at noon (or by appointment), followed by a 3 p.m. Bible study.
Don’t Forget to Eat Your Greens, and Support a Local Farmer
A Hope resident and master gardener is sharing her abundance to those who want to eat fresh vegetables picked straight out of the earth. On Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., stop by for cabbage, broccoli, kale, green onions, turnips, lettuce and a variety of herbs. Prices start at 75 cents. For directions, contact Christen at 360-9624.