Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/27/09 - Sightseeing in the Fairbanks Area

This was another questionable day for good weather, so we decided to just do some sightseeing close to town. We started out by driving south on the Parks Highway, then returning to Fairbanks with some side trips.
These couches covered with stuffed animals sat on the hillside above the Parks Highway.

We had heard about Skinny Dick's Half-Way Inn from friends who drove by it last year. We stopped in for a coke and looked through their gift shop.

As we headed back toward Fairbanks, Ken spotted this moose on the hill beneath the powerline.

We stopped in Ester Gold Camp and were disappointed to see that it was pretty much closed down. The Malemute Saloon is where Alaska poet Robert Service wrote some of his most famous poems.

We saw several sandhill cranes as we stopped at a viewing station by Creamer's Field.

We went back and took the tour of the Large Animal Research Station (LARS) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The muskox climbing the fence is a 13-month old who was very anxious to get another treat as his mother looks on.

This caribou at LARS also appreciated the treats.

6/24 - 6/24/09 - Chena Hot Springs

We took a side trip to Chena Hot Springs and stayed there for a couple of nights. The day we arrived it was pouring down rain and unfortunately, that eliminated the one tour we really wanted to take. We had heard a lot about the Ice Museum, but due to the high waters, they couldn't keep the temperature cold enough with visitors continually going in and out of the exhibit. The day after our arrrival brought much nicer weather, but it also brought too many people to the hot springs.
This photo is a view of the outside rock hot springs.
We did take a tour of their geothermal plant which produces the power for the facility. This next photo was taken in their hydrophonic greenhouse. It reminded us of the tour we went through in Epcot Center.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6/22/09 - Riverboat Discovery - Fairbanks, AK

This afternoon we took the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena River in Fairbanks.

Just a short way along the river, we viewed a float plane demonstration as it took off from and landed in the river.

We saw this busy beaver (in the next 2 photos) along the shoreline as we continued along the route.

The next 3 photos are at the late Susan Butcher's sled dog facility where a demonstration is put on by her husband, Dave Monson. In the first photo, the dogs are very excited to get going.

After a loop around the trail, the dog sled team returns.

The team heads to the river to cool off.

This is where the Chena River meets the glacier fed Tanana River which runs much cloudier.

At the Chena Indian Village, we watched salmon being prepared for the smokehouse.

The next 3 photos are examples of Alaskan Native clothing.

A reindeer at the village.

and a Alaskan native birch bark canoe.

After our riverboat tour was completed, we drove to Pioneer Park and enjoyed the Alaska Salmon Bake. It was an all you can eat meal including salad bar, rols, baked beans, salmon, halibut, cod, and prime rib. We didn't leave there feeling hungry!

6/21/09 - University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum

Today we visited the University of Alaska at Fairbanks Museum. Museums aren't the greatest for photos due to the lighting and displays behind glass. This bear greeted us as we entered the main section of the museum. The main exhibit of the museum covered the history of Alaska through the years. We also saw a short movie about the northern lights.

After we finished our tour of the museum, we drove out to see the University's Large Animal Research Station (LARS). We decided that we would go back for the actual tour on another day, but did get a photo of some muskox and reindeer in the next two photos.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

6/17/09 - Delta Junction to Fairbanks

We took a short break on our way to Fairbanks to visit the Knotty Shop. There were several Alaskan critters made out of burl wood on their front lawn including this rather large mosquito in the 2nd photo.

6/16/09 - Tok to Delta Junction, AK

Today's drive was about 115 miles, so we had time to stop at Delta Meat and Sausage and pick up some sausage to take with us. Of course, we had to try out the free samples they had available too.
This is Rika's Roadhouse located north of Delta Junction. We stopped here for the night, had buffalo burgers for lunch, took a tour, then went for a drive to see what we could see.

We drove back to the visitor's center which marks the end of the Alaskan Highway. Since we drove up the Cassiar, we have yet to see the beginning.

This moose was about a mile from Rika's and didn't seem at all disturbed that we stopped to take photos. He was just too busy eating.

This is a view of the Alaska Pipeline about 25 miles south of Delta Junction.

6/14 - 6/16/09 - Tok, Alaska

After the continued bumpy, dusty roads to Tok, we found a campground for a couple of nights. Before settling into the site, we spent quite a bit of time getting a few layers of dirt washed off the RV. The first night there, we enjoyed a sourdough bread bowl of reindeer chili. It was very good, but just not quite enough.

6/14/09 - Chicken, AK to Tok, AK

Here's a photo of our trip from Chicken, AK to Tok, AK.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6/12 - 6/13/09 - Chicken, AK and Eagle, AK

This photo was taken inside the Chicken Bar where we stopped for a beer. This couple drove over that day from Dawson City (he's the city manager there) to attend Chicken Stalk which is an annual event in Chicken.

And no bar is complete without a smiling bartender.

We took a day trip to visit the town of Eagle, Alaska. The next couple of photos are of the historic Fort Egbert. When we were looking at the buildings from outside, some folks from town came over with the keys to the buildings and took us on a non-scheduled tour.

These old boat motors were inside one of the buildings and we just had to post this for our friend, Terry, who collects antique motors.

Early in May, Eagle was devastated by the worst flooding of the Yukon River in history. I believe there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 homes and buildings that were totally destroyed. The first picture is of Front Street where businesses were destroyed.

There were buildings on their sides.

Several vehicles were also severely damaged in the flood.

6/12/09 - Top of the World Highway - Dawson City, YT to Chicken, AK

This sign is found at the US Customs border crossing on the Top of the World Highway as we leave Canada once again enter Alaska.
Here's our site at Chicken Creek Campground after traveling 5 hours on some of the roughest road ever -- one we wouldn't want to repeat in the RV.
The dirty RV.

The dirty truck.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6/9 - 6/11/09 - Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Here are some of things we did while in Dawson City, YT:

Free gold panning at Claim #6 - no luck for us!

We took the tour of Dredge #4.

The next 5 photos are of a few of the 30 cars taking part in the 2009 Bentley Canada Alaska Tour

The ferry crossing on the Yukon River in Dawson City.