Friday, September 25, 2015

North to Alaska...Fairbanks first stop...

Well hello there peeps!

For those of you that noticed, we mentioned in our last very brief post that we were off to explore the 49th and largest State in the good ole U. S. of A.

Well we have finally been able to get our acts together and get Rick's beautiful pictures and my narrative together to bring that amazingly beautiful state to your computer screen in all its glory.

We decided to do something different this time with regards to blogging our adventure.  As you are familiar with past adventures, we often encounter internet issues along the way, and can’t always upload photos to the blog and/or simply post to the internet. So, given the fact that we were doing a land and sea adventure this time, and would only be gone for 12 days we thought we would experience the adventure first and blog about it after the fact.
Let me first say that if you have ever considered visiting Alaska, please make sure you do sooner than later because you will not be disappointed. It should not be on your things to do when I get old or until you have nowhere else to visit. You are doing yourself a disservice if you gamble on life giving you the time to fulfill that dream.

If you miss the opportunity to visit this beautiful state than you have missed out on breathing the cleanest air, seeing a living tapestry of tundra carpeted with wildflowers and an abundance of wildlife at almost every turn just to mention a few.
It took us two airplanes and almost 12 hours to arrive at Fairbanks, Alaska from Toronto where we met up with our travel companions, Terry and Wendy Lapp, who had left the day before us. Needless to say we were pretty exhausted, but did manage to hang out with them for a few nibblies and cocktails.

I don’t have a lot to say about Fairbanks other than it’s a pretty remote interior city, although they do pride themselves as having the most northern Walmart, McDonalds and Home Depot. Locals even have funny little tales about when each of these businesses opened their doors.
We only had one day to explore so we took a three hour cruise on one of Alaska’s greatest rivers, the Chena River on board the Riverboat Discovery III.
During the cruise we saw a bush floatplane takeoff alongside and land beside our gorgeous riverboat, cruised by and visited the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher and saw her champion sled dogs in action.
As well as visited an ancient Athabascan Chena Indian Village.

Here are a few pictures from that cruise along the Chena River…

 A little sample of the residences along the shores

Kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher and her champion sled dogs

Athabascan Chena Indian Village

These photos depict how the Athabascan’s caught Salmon, utilizing the rivers current

A female Golden Eagle perched beside the river edge

After the cruise we had a hearty meal at Steamboat Landing, an all you can eat hearty miner’s stew, rustic roasted vegetables, apple pecan salad, sourdough rolls and a brownie. Iced tea, ice water and coffee were included. Then it was on to the buses again; our next stop Gold Dredge # 8 a giant gold mining machine.

Below is a picture of the Alaskan State Flag, just outside of Gold Dredge # 8. Like most if not all flags, they usually have a story to go along with it (click on the link for this one if you’d like to find out)

We rode a replica of the Tanana Valley Railroad. It was a cute narrative of the history of gold rush era. The techniques used back in the day and of course the arrival of the actual dredge in 1928. There was quite a lot of history learned, and I must say that it is well worth the visit. We even had the opportunity to pan for gold ourselves. We actually found some gold and were allowed to keep it. Sandra is proudly wearing the few nuggets or more like flecks we found in a locket around her neck as a keepsake or more like ones personal cure to gold fever.

Gold Dredge #8 – A masterpiece of engineering for it’s time


 The Trans Alaska Pipeline runs long the entrance to Gold Dredge #8.  

There are many areas of permafrost in Alaska; therefore some areas of the pipeline had to be placed above the ground. The steel supports holding the pipeline serve to keep the frozen ground from thawing out.

Injection of a little humour here….
Our macho men had to flex their muscles after a long day.

I hope you enjoyed our first excursion whilst in Alaska. Tomorrow we board a bus destined for the Princess Denali Wilderness Lodge, which sits just outside the entrance to Denali National Park. I hope you come along.

See you tomorrow J

Rick and Sandra

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it's a beautiful place you've been!! Great photo's Rick, and I assume Sandra added the text :D Love to read and see your adventures!!
    Hugs, SAndra