Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
73Trip End Sep 10, 2009
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After two nights at Tok, we traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska, the northern-most city that we will visit and the place where we will experience the longest daylight hours of our trip.
We passed through Delta Junction, the official end of the Alaska Highway, although many Fairbanks residents believe their city to be the end of the highway. The highway from Delta Junction is the Richardson Highway that connects Fairbanks to Valdez.
We saw four moose today.
The only stop we made (even though we wanted to return to Mukluk Land) was at the Knotty Gift Shop
Les, our Wagonmaster, did not want us to check into the campground in Fairbanks until after 3 p.m., but we arrived early because we wanted to get Art to the emergency room today. We parked the RV in the front lot of the campground, backed the PT Cruiser off of the car hauler and headed to Fairbanks Memorial.
The triage nurses took Art right away and after the usual questions and procedures, put him in a bed in the emergency room. After more queries and an examination, the doctors were unsure about what is ailing him. They ruled out shingles because he has skin pain across both sides of his abdomen instead of just on one side. He was given two prescriptions; one for a steroid and the other for an antibiotic and told to return if things got worse.
We found the Sam's Club in town so that we could fill the prescriptions at their pharmacy, only to find the pharmacy closed. We forgot that it is Sunday. The cashier told us about a store named Fred Meyer, whose pharmacy remains open on Sunday
We are camping midway between Fairbanks and North Pole, Alaska, at Riverview RV Park. We returned to the park at about 4:30 and had just enough time to park the motorhome, get things set up and get ready to join the others for a 6:00 bus trip to Pioneer Park where we would enjoy an Alaska Salmon Bake and a show at the Palace Theatre.
Pioneer Park is an historic theme park much of which looks like an old Gold Rush town. Some of the shops are in buildings from that era that have been moved and restored. We found out that if we had been there earlier, we may have gotten to see Sarah Palin. Today, she attended the last Governor's Picnic, said goodbye and handed over the reins of state government to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. The only thing we saw was the podium and chairs where the ceremony took place.
The Alaska Salmon Bake was a unique place. The entrance resembles an old mine shaft and diners must walk through several feet of the dimly lit shaft which opens onto an outside buffet. The salmon, halibut and cod are direct from Alaska’s icy waters, and were cooked before our eyes on a wood fire pit
After dinner, we roamed around Pioneer Park since we had about 45 minutes before the Palace Theater show began.
The show, "The Golden Heart Revue," features music and lyrics by Fairbanks composer Jim Bell. It is a lighthearted, comic look at the colorful characters from early and present day Fairbanks. With the Fairbanks gold strike in 1902, came the opportunists, homemakers and other seekers who built the town of Fairbanks on the banks of the Chena River in the very heart of the vast Alaskan wilderness. Even though the cast was polished and professional, we found the music and skits to be trite and, sad to say, boring. We couldn't wait until the show ended.
We boarded the bus, provided by our campground, to return to Riverview RV Park, and even though many of us in the back of the bus chanted "DQ, DQ, DQ," the driver ignored us.