Day 25-29 Fairbanks, Alaska   Leave a comment

Finally on our way to the Big City.

The drive brought us to the end of the Alcan Highway.

At the end of the Alcan Highway is a roadhouse. There I saw a photo of Dawson City when it was first settled. Notice the mountain in the background is unchanged today with the slide, or erosion.

The drive was same as usual – Mountains, skinny black spruces that are very old (but don’t look it),

Although poking thru those trees was a glimpse of the Alaskan Range.

The rivers are different from back home, filling with silt brought by the glacial waters. Since the silt is constantly moving the river flow, it would be difficult to navigate these waters by boat.

At yet another roadhouse, we found someone working on his Diamond Willow Walking Stick, a favorite up here in Alaska.

Our first glimpse of the Alaska Pipeline. I’ve heard so much about it for so many years, it was exciting to finally “see” it.

Then our trip got very exciting as we saw a moose, alive and well!

Stopping at the “knotty shop” we picked up some of our own “raw” diamond willow branches to make into walking sticks.

Last stop before the campground was the North Pole. Complete with Santa!

When we unhooked our car, we lifted the hood & we could not believe all the dust still on the engine from Top of the World Highway!

We took a great Riverboat tour down the Chena River. We stopped at the Susan Butcher Sled Dog Center. The dogs pulled the 4 wheeler, approximately 800 lbs. around the property. While the trainer was hooking them up to the leads, they were going crazy wanting to get started.

Susan was the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1986. She went on to win the Iditarod in 1987, 1988 and 1990. She died in 2006 from complications of a bone marrow transplant. Her husband and two daughters are now running the center.

We saw a float plane take off and land.

We visited the Athabascan Village and learned a lot about their heritage.

Then we got to meet the mush dogs up close.

We visited the University of Alaska Museum where we learned about the dinosaur age

The woolly mammoth hide pictured below was discovered in 1948 at a gold mine located in Fairbanks Creek. This is the best preserved mammoth to be found in North America.

and the Indian heritage

Speaking of gold mining, there were also gold nuggets and dust on display.

As we walked over to the ice museum, we saw a portable jail driving down the street. The next thing we know, we were informed there was a warrant out for our arrest and we were jailed!

In order to get out of jail, you can to do the “can-can” with the girls.

Our wagonmaster, Ken, was also arrested. He REALLY got into dancing with the girls.

The ice museum was amazing! The ice sculptures are kept at 20 degree F temperatures in their building and brought out to the park in the winter for the ice sculpting festival.

The demonstration of ice sculpting was pretty cool (in more ways than one)

Our visit to Dredge #8

proved to be profitable to some of our guests. Bill and I got a whole $18 worth of gold dust.

Our Salman Bake showed me the way! I now have a stock of Sockeye Salmon in my freezer!

Because our group missed Banff and Lake Louise, we were able to take them to Chena Hot Springs in its place. Some enjoyed the healing waters of the hot springs.

It turned out to be our best trip yet for moose sightings. One on property and a few on the bus ride home.

We visited the ice house and saw some beautiful ice sculptures

If you choose, you can have an appletini from an ice glass!

We toured the geothermal power plant and their green house where plants are grown hydrophonically.

Fairbanks was my first opportunity to get a photo of and “almost” sunrise.

Since the sun never seems to go all the way down, it’s a little difficult.

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