Alaska the Last Frontier

Just before we got to Quartz Lake we drove along the Alaska Pipeline that was suspended above the ground and over the river.

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From Quartz Lake we traveled on Highway 2 and then Highway 3 to Fairbanks, and another Day’s End recommendation at the Fairbanks Airport.

While in Fairbanks we visited Pioneer Park and saw the train car Pres. Harding rode in 1923 when he was in Alaska to sink the golden spike for the newly constructed railroad. They also had a cool paddlewheeler and houses that were replicas of the time period.

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While at Pioneer Park, John, Zoe and John went to the Aeronautical Museum. Sadie and I stayed in the LD and I worked on my blog.

The next day we went to downtown Fairbanks and did lots of stuff. We visited the Visitor Center, Ice Museum, car museum, WalMart, Safeway, Sam’s, Petco, and Hot Licks Ice Cream.

Zoe and I walked through downtown Fairbanks on our way to the Ice Museum. We went through a cool park, called Griffin Park. They had a clock that played music every ½ hour, an Antler Arch, and several statues honoring service men.

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Every year in Fairbanks they have an ice carving competition. So Zoe and I visited the Ice Museum which showed a movie about the competition, ice sculptures, and even a carving demonstration.

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John and John C. went to the car museum which they said was really cool. We also went to Hot Licks Ice Cream, which was recommended to us by fellow travelers, and enjoyed ice cream cones, although kind of pricey.   Another place we stopped was Santa’s Smokehouse and we got several different kinds of smoked salmon. The guy who does the smoking is 80 years old and has been smoking the salmon there for 40 years.

After 2 days in Fairbanks we decided to move on. I was able to get a reservation for the next day at Riley Campground in Denali Park. I wanted to stay at Teklanika, but we couldn’t get in until the end of July.

So we headed South on Hwy. 3.   Along the road we saw great views of the mountain range and the bridge over the Tanana River. I even got a pretty good picture of Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley).

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Riley Campground had nicely spaced camp spots, but RVs were coming in all day and into the night.   Also they a lot of rain so some of the roads were flooded.

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The next day I got up very early to take the 8-hour bus trip to Eielson; John, John C. and Zoe went to the sled dog demonstration

On the trip to Eielson we saw grizzly bears, caribou and dall sheep. I also tried to get a picture of Denali, but she just wasn’t cooperating that day. It was a long but very interesting bus ride.

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The ones that went to the dog sledding demonstration said it was great; they really enjoyed it.

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After a 2 day stay we headed out on Hwy. 3 South. It was a very pretty drive but rain, rain, and more rain the whole way until we got to Talkeetna where we are staying on a vacant lot that I found on Days End. It is on the end of a street and very quiet , right along the river, with great views of Denali and the mountain range.  It is very close to town so easy to walk around. We are staying here until after the 4th of July.

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We walked around town and visited the airport, train station, cemetery (thanks to Linda/Carol recommendation), downtown, and library (where they have free WiFi).

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We woke up on the 4th and decided to go downtown to the local parade.

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But the best thing to happen today was the clear view of Denali. I hear that we are very lucky because most people never get to see it. And we saw it right out our door.

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