Day 111 - Drive to Fairbanks

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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River View RV Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Sunday, August 18, 2013

Today is August 18th and the 111th day of our trip.  Got yesterday's mixed up!  Not 109 but 110!  Time if flying.  Can't keep track anymore!  Old age is creeping up way too fast lately.

As we left Denali behind, we start off with partly cloudy skies and lots of construction in the beginning of the trip ( we waited in an area where the wait was up to 20 minutes) and lucky for us, our wait was less than that.  As we proceeded, the weather got better and better and we ended up with a cloudless sky.  Again, we go through an area where it has a heavy population of black bear (we haven't seen those yet) and of course, how many did I count?  Ya, none!!  We saw Skinny Dick's Roadhouse and got recommendation to stop (Thanks Dick B, and Bert), but it was not conducive to RV parking, so we had to move on...maybe next time??

It was a short drive to Fairbanks, and we are actually staying just outside the city in a place called North Pole?  Maybe you have heard of it?  Well, I could hardly contain my self.  I headed right down to the Santa Clause House (on St. Nicholas Drive, just off Mistletoe) in search of the big guy once again.  Not this time, as he was making his toys at another location.   Well, its not like I haven't seen him recently and all his reindeer, so I'm good!!

For dinner, we all boarded a bus and were taken to this place called Pioneer Village for a Salmon Bake (all you can eat type place) and after that we went to a theater performance which was lots of fun.  There is plenty of work in Alaska for the 4-month season for actors and singers here in Alaska -  that's for sure.  

Everyone was off to bed once we hit the campground since tomorrow we are being picked up once again by bus and we are going on a Paddle Wheeler  boat ride, to another luncheon spot and then to the Museum of Alaska.  Another full day of adventure.

Day 112 - Fairbanks.  Another nice day for a boat ride.  This is where we saw the Susan Butcher Home and Kennel run by her husband, Dave Monson who is also an Ididarod champion racer.  He spoke to us and then came to the Native American Village where you could meet him.  You will see a statue of Susan's lead dog named Granite!  This dog was with her for all her wins as well as those that were not winning races.  During one of those races she called for the dogs to turn left, and Granite wanted to go to the left.  Granite was determined to go in this direction.  She tried to correct him, and he would not listen - not like this dog to disobey.  She gave him his "head" and he turned the sled in that direction.  Come to find out, thee was a break on the river ice she was crossing and had she turned in the other direction, they all would have been killed.  Gives you the shivers doesn't it?

In this "village" we learned about the Athabascan Indian ways of life - still practiced today.  The younger generation who spoke to us are also learning from their elders and at the same time living and working and going to school like everyone else.  The tent that you will see is wrapped up in Caribou pelts for warmth and has a hole in the top so they can have a small fire.  They showed us how they smoke the salmon - no parts go to waste (lesson here?)...what they can't eat goes to the dogs.  The coat that you see the girl wearing was amazing...not to mention warm in the winter no doubt.  It takes 8 months to make a coat like that - working 6-8 hours a day.  Each coat is unique and if you were to wear that coat and go to another village or even to another Native American culture the people would know exactly which tribe made that coat.  The designs are all unique to these different tribes.  This coat would cost between $17,000-$24000 IF you could purchase it!  Shall I place an order for anyone?  

After that tour and the end of the boat ride we were off to yet another lunch at a cute restaurant on the river and that's where the "Love Alaska" photo was taken.

The Ice Museum was in downtown Fairbanks and after a short movie of how they do all these amazing sculptures, we had a demonstration by a local artist who competes in March for the International Competition.  Quite an art form.   

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Pamela on

I love to read about your adventures. I look forward to the updates in my in box!!

jerrygolfboyer on

Next stop: Day 112. Wow! That is way longer than a Kardashian marriage!!!

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