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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
9th Jun 2014 - 10th Jun 2014 - Alaska 2014
Days 11-12-June 9 , 10, 2014-Fairbanks, North Pole & HOME!!

Days 11-12-June 9-10, 2014-Fairbanks, North Pole and HOME

Up at 6:00AM again, breakfast in the resort’s breakfast room, then checked out.  They’ll hold our luggage in a locked room while we’re on the tour.  Cool and cloudy, about 50 in the morning, but then sunny and warmer in the afternoon.

Fairbanks is in the middle of the state, the second largest city with a population of about 30,000.  It’s only 300’ above sea level (rising to 1200’ at the pipeline) and is considered an arctic desert.  It’s very dry-doesn’t get much snow and it’s very powdery-no good for snowballs or snowmen.

The bus for the Historical Fairbanks Tour picked us up at the hotel for a four hour tour of the city.  Drove through Pioneer Park, lots of things for kids to do, then the red light district, nothing for kids to do here.  Made a stop at the Golden Hearth Plaza where there is a beautiful statue depicting the first families in Alaska.  Big clock tower with chimes can be seen from here.  You can hear it all over town when it chimes music.  Passed by the only Wal-Mart for 350 miles, then stopped at the Cultural Center Visitor’s Center for a few minutes.  Drove by Carlisle Trucking, home of Ice Road Truckers, then stopped at another site of the pipeline, again very interesting.  The last, longest and best stop was at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North.  Big museum, lots of exhibits, galleries and rooms to explore.  We spent about an hour there and then back to the hotel.

It’s only 1:30, our plane doesn’t leave ‘til 9:35 and the airport’s only five minutes down the road so we decided to get a shuttle to North Pole, AK, about twenty minutes away.  Not “the” North Pole, just North Pole.  But this is where letters addressed to Santa, North Pole are delivered, we’re close, so why not check it out?  We’re greeted by a 42’, 900 pound statue of Santa. There’s an adjacent campground, right up our alley, that has red and green picnic tables and each site is named for an elf or a reindeer.  Of course, it’s Monday, Santa’s day off.  But there are some baby reindeer, big reindeer, and a big Santa Clause house decorated with murals on the outside and tons of Christmas doo-dads and souvenirs on the inside.  The shuttle waited for us for 45 minutes, which was plenty of time.  We got off the shuttle at Fred Meyer’s, a great, better than Wal-Mart everything store to get some medicine for Harry’s cold?/allergy?/sinus infection? and then walked back to the hotel to wait.

And wait, and wait. After not having a minute to ourselves for the past ten days we now are antsy to get home.  We sat in the hotel lobby, finished our books, read the local paper, did a crossword puzzle, surfed the web in the office and bothered the staff until it was dinner time and we went next door to Chena’s Restaurant again.  Had the best salmon we’ve had on this trip.  Took another walk on the Chena River Walk that begins right outside the restaurant, then went back and bothered the staff some more ‘til it was time to go to the airport. 

Nothing interesting about the flights home, just the way we like it.  Fairbanks to Minneapolis-about a 5 hour flight, got in at 5:30AM, breakfast at some fast food place we never heard of, a 4-1/2 hour layover, Minneapolis to Tampa-another 5 hour flight, in about 2:30, home about 4:00, no sleep for the past thirty hours (I don’t know too many people who can actually sleep on a plane).  Crashed for a couple of hours and waited for jet lag to set in.  We had a great time in Alaska but it’s wonderful to be HOME!!!!

Although we only saw a small part of Alaska, all four areas we visited were different.  Anchorage, the “big city”, Seward, the “port”, Denali, the “wilderness” and Fairbanks, the “gold rush low land”.  After the first couple of rainy days the weather was great.  Temperatures vary here from a record low of -62 to a record high of 99. We enjoyed every place we went and everything we did thanks to our travel agent, Barbara, who really planned a great trip for us.



Next: Day 1-July 6, 2014-We're off again
Previous: Day 10-June 8, 2014-Gold, Pipeline Riverboat & Harry's Birthday


Diary Photos

Women's room in Alaska

21 hrs., 16 mins. of daylight

Us at 1st Family Statue

Pipeline Facts

Pipeline1

U of A Museum of the North

Us with Santa

1 yr. old reindeer

More letters to Santa

Letter to Santa

Santa's seat

Stuff at North Pole

Christmas house

Parking for Santa only

Us at North Pole

Another salmon entree

Chena's Restaurant salmon

We split this and probably should have left some

Fairbanks airport

Us in Fairbanks

Pipeline

GOLD!!!

Inside of outhouse

Inside of outhouse

Outside of outhouse


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