Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fairbanks, July 7-9, 2011

Another fabulous night camping. Last night a huge motorhome towing a trailer holding a very nice Jeep and a full size boat on a top level maneuvered carefully through the trees into a pull-through just near us. He was very patient. The interesting thing was watching him, all alone, load the Jeep back onto the trailer in the morning. He’s obviously done that a few times before.
We left the campground and got back on the road and headed to Fairbanks. We plan to spend a full day there and have a look around. We saw some more fire remnants in the forest areas and more swans on the water. We went through some rain and saw a beautiful full rainbow spanning the road before us. That’s the second rainbow I’ve seen. The road is about the same…some gravel repaired bits and potholes.. a few dips and bumps. No real problems. There are many places to pull off the road along the way. One rest stop had a telephone booth! We crossed the Robertson River and there was still ice on the sandy areas where water was not running. No time for a pic of that. I even saw a MOOSE! At first sight I thought it was a cow (I am from Texas afterall). Then I saw the ears! Can’t believe I finally saw one. I wanted to call my friend, Kay, but had no phone service. I’ll need to do that later. We did stop at a large rest stop for Jim to stretch his legs and to eat some lunch. It was right beside the Tenana River which was moving very fast. We got out to take some pics and walk around. There was a work crew there having lunch so I talked to one of the girls. They were Americorps! They pointed out that we could see Mt. McKinley from where we were. There were too many clouds covering the top but we could see some of it and several mountains along side. Too bad it wasn’t perfectly clear. We will be going to Denali in a couple of days so we’ll hope to see it then. After getting back on the road it wasn’t long before we arrived in Fairbanks. I told Jim it looked like Texas. I couldn’t see any mountains for the trees and the road looked flat…it was definitely warmer and very sunny. I may not have know we were that north in Alaska if I had just been plopped down in that place. We stopped at Sam’s Club first to shop and then found our campground. We’re at the River’s Edge RV Park right on Chena River. Motorboats and kayaks and jet skis go down the river. I even saw some ducks with ducklings last night. The bad news is that we had some trouble with the tow car. It was making the most horrible noise when braking…I thought it was grinding, Jim thought it was whining. Anyway, we called and took it into the shop this morning. They brought us back to the motorhome and we were back in time to take a city tour. It was perfect to fill the time until the shop called to say our car was repaired. Turns out it was rocks in the brake system. After we picked it up we went into the city and toured the Ice Museum. Fairbanks hosts an International Ice Sculpture competition every year and the Ice Museum has a film about it and also has refrigerated display cases with ice sculptures. We could actually go into a display room where ice sculptures were standing…it was 20 degrees! Cold but not unbearable for the short time we were in there to take pictures. There was a Chinese young man who did a demonstration for us too. It was worth the time and $11 fee. We left downtown after that and went to Pioneer Park, formerly Alaskaland. It’s a free park with lots of old buildings from early Fairbanks days. There is a playground and a train. We didn’t stay there long enough but saw lots while were there. It looked like a storm was coming so we headed home. Not long after getting back to the rig it started raining…a nice rain with lightning and thunder. Jim cooked some stew in the crockpot so we will eat well tonight. Tomorrow we will go on to Denali National Park. We have two days there in Riley Campground and will take the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Until next blog…hope you are having a great summer.

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