Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 18,2011

  We spent longer in Fairbanks than we thought we would. That’s what is so good about this life style. If we’re enjoying a place we can stay longer. We’re not on a time table. It was rainy and cool when we first got here so we spent some down time. We did get some shopping in and stopped at the Creamer waterfowl refuge several times. We took a ride to University of Alaska botanical garden. A lot of folks were working in the area and it was a little to early in the year for something like that. We then took a ride down to the Pump House Restaurant. It was to early to eat but they had old artifacts from the gold rush days around. While walking along the Chena river on which the Pump House was located a beautiful bald eagle flew about 15 feet over us. What a magnificent sight. We have seen a lot of eagles in our travels but never that close. Another day we took a ride to the North Pole and met with the great one Santa himself. Next up was the visitor center in Fairbanks. It has an excellent display. From there we stopped at the headquarters for the Yukon Quest Int’l Sled dog Race. Jodi Bailey and 4 of her dogs were there. Both her and her Alaskan Huskies ran last year in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest races. She enjoyed talking about the races and dogs and happily answered all of our questions. We enjoyed petting the oh so friendly dogs. The Alaskan huskies are not as big as we thought they would be. After visiting the city museum we headed back to the rv. Yesterday we took a ride on a sternwheeler along the Chena river. We had a bush pilot take off and land along side of us, visited an Chena Indian village, tasted smoked salmon and to me the highlight was a demonstration at the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher. Sled dogs were hooked up to a 4 wheeler, that is used for training, and off they went. The dogs that were not picked went crazy trying to show there dissatisfaction at not being chosen to do the run. Today we went to Pioneer Park. It is made up of authentic  buildings from the early 1900’s used as museums and gift shops. While in Fairbanks we ate at 2 interesting places. Big Daddy’s BBQ. It is billed as the Northernmost Southern Barbecue and was featured on Diner’s Drivin’s & Dives. I enjoyed Paula didn’t. And Soapy Smiths. Soapy’s  owners (quite a character)  grandfather was the 1st governor after statehood. The place is filled with memorabilia. It never really gets dark here at this time of the year just dusk for a few hours. Tomorrow is the summer solstice festival and that is how we’ll finish our stay. Tuesday we’ll move over to Denali National Park and begin another adventure.


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