(Jan) The Alaska Highway officially ends in Delta Junction. The road to Fairbanks, called the Richardson Highway, had already been in existence at the time the Alaska highway was created. The ten of us fellow travelers, Judy & Dean, Keith & Sandy, Ron & Bernita, Sally & Gregg and Chuck & I had our picture taken in Delta Junction at the end of the Alaska Highway Marker. (Click on the photo to enlarge.) We visited the North Pole, where we all sent postcards to our grandchildren, then continued on our way to Fairbanks. This area has many things to offer and we enjoyed many of them.
The University of Alaska Museum has wonderful exhibits about the state, it’s history, the Athabascan culture and the animals that live here. They also had a large art exhibit and 3 feature films about the museum & it’s exhibits, living in Alaska in the Winter, and the Aurora Borealis. The film on the Aurora was particularly good. We also went the Large Animal Research farm to learn about Musk ox, caribou and reindeer. That afternoon we saw the Alaska Pipeline and then headed over to the Discovery Center where we did a paddlewheel river cruise. Besides the airplane and dog team pictured above we visited an Athabaskan Village. When we got off the cruise we went into the ‘40 degrees below zero room'.’ Yikes! Very cold but we didn’t stay in it very long!
The following day six in our group flew to a Bettles Resort beyond the Artic Circle for several days while Ron & Bernita and Chuck & Jan visited Chena Hot Springs & the Ice Museum. The Ice Museum exhibits the creations of World Ice Art Champions Steve & Heather Brice. It also has 4 ice bedrooms where you can spend the night! The next day we went to downtown Fairbanks and their Visitor’s Center. “In addition to trip planning services, there is a theatre showing free films and programs on Alaska's natural, cultural and visitor history and an exhibit hall featuring 9,000 square feet of museum-quality interpretive displays and dioramas depicting Interior Alaskan landscapes and seasons.” In the evenings we also had many fun evenings playing Pegs & Jokers. On Friday the four of us headed south to Denali!
One last note……It’s NEVER truly dark here! When you go for a walk at 9 or 10 at night, you have to wear sunglasses! When you sit at your computer at night you have to pull the shade because of the sun shining in your eyes. At ‘night’ when it’s time to sleep, you have to shutter your windows as much as you can but it is never really dark. It’s kind of like taking a nap, a long one, in the afternoon. And keep a clock at your bedside because when you wake up you have no idea if it’s midnight , 3 A.M. or time to get up; it all pretty much looks the same! We love it though….it’s been great having it light outside. There’s no ‘after dark’ and you never have to use a flashlight!