We have had a great time in Fairbanks area. The very first day, we went out to dinner with Brad at the Pike’s Landing down on the Chena River. Excellent food! Great conversation too. The next day Irene and I tackled laundry. I normally shy away from laundromats, but when you need to do laundry…. As it is, we picked a laundromat right next to University of Alaska – fascinating watching everyone do their laundry. I had two good chuckles that just made me laugh. First, out of my washer load, was found a throng. Second, I found a condom still in its wrapper. Then tried to explain a throng to Irene…what a hoot!
We settled nicely into our campground – Chena Wayside RV park, which is in the Chena River Recreational Park. Busy place, but you don’t see your neighbors for all the trees. It has water and 30 amp power, picnic table, fire pit and there is a dump station on your way out. There’s a boat launch too. Really a pretty park nestled in the middle of Fairbanks. With nearly 22 hours of sunshine, it offers enough shade to make sleeping easy.
Irene signed up for a 3 hour tour. Riverboat Discovery Tour, click on its title to learn more about it. She really enjoyed the trip. No pictures taken though. As they passed by places on the river, those on shore gave a narrative on different things. Such as on dog mushing, float planes landing and taking off on water, to a native village. They had a chance to walk thru the native village, etc. So a most enjoyable day she had.
My appointment – which kept us on a deadline to get to Alaska, turned out to be a 2 day event. 3 hours the first and 6 hours the next. Very, very productive and am thrilled to have connected with my advisor. I had not had a face-to-face with him since my divorce, so I was long overdue.
After all that was completed. Irene & I took a trip to the Arctic Circle. A 12 hour trip at that on the dippiest, pot-holed, rutted, washed board road, dirt/gravel and when paved – broken. I have been on some pretty rough roads over the years in Alaska, but this driver was insane. If we had slowed down versus fly thru the air over the rough road and landing hard each and every time it might not have been so jarring. The driver & lucky Irene – sitting in the front seat, had no idea how rough it was in the back of the van. But in grumping about the road, it showed its true flavor of the old Alaska by its existence and on that note – I would, yes I would!, consider driving it myself. It is a dangerous road and you really need to learn the rules of that stretch of the road. And the truckers do rule and do have the right-a-way and if you don’t respect it, you are in serious trouble. But there are far more dangers without the truckers. If you do it, have a CB radio in good working order! Its critical to be in touch with others on the roads. So why would I want to do this trip?
It was absolutely gorgeous up there. Absolutely loved the varied colors/textures on the mountain sides! Just gorgeous! We did not see any wildlife, except 2 rabbits and one falcon and one eagle – suspect if we had slowed down it might have. But who knows. It was a sunny day, so to give a benefit of doubt, perhaps it was too warm for the wildlife and they were laying low and resting. The driver, sensing correctly, that his riders were unhappy not seeing wildlife, made a point to take us (back in Fairbanks) to the University’s Large Animal Research facility – we saw Musk Oxen there. Then by the University’s Experimental section were reindeer. These two facilities have done awesome research on everything that is in the arctic region. We have learned so much about our climate, how to maintain it, how to grow things, etc. I knew about both of these facilities, but had not been to them before.
So today…we are laying low… me doing the blog, putting things away, cleaning, listening to the rain fall and the wind thru the trees. We head south tomorrow…heading for the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Got lots of friends to see.