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Published: August 9th 2013
Alaskan Salmon Bake
Day 14 Cont. Tuesday July 30
We finished our cleaning by 5:00 just in time for the bus for dinner. We went to the Alaska Salmon Bake, an outdoor all you can eat buffet. We ate delicious salmon, halibut and prime rib with all the sides at picnic tables. We walked around the little village and looked in the shops until the show at the Palace Theatre. A wonderful musical performance telling the story of the beginning of Fairbanks.
Day 15 - Wednesday July 31
The next morning we boarded the bus again for a cruise on the Riverboat Discovery down the Chena River. Before boarding the boat we went into a room that was -40 degrees. Brrrr. The three hour cruise is run by a family in Fairbanks and the captain is the forth generation, his grandmother comes out everyday and waves as the boat passes by. It includes a bush floatplane taking off from the river, we also go by the home and kennels of the late Susan Butcher and have a presentation by her husband. Susan was a four-time Iditarod dog sled champion. We make a stop at a Chena Indian Village where we learned
Dinner under the trees
about the ancient Athabascan Indian culture and what it took to live in the last frontier during the gold rush. We also got a picture in a dog sled with Lance Mackey a musher who made sports history when he won the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest and the 1,100 mile Iditarod in 2007 and did it again in 2008.
We had lunch at Pikes landing. There was place to drive golf balls across the river and several from our group gave it a try, including Pat who made it across.
After lunch we went to the Fairbanks Ice Museum and watched a film on Ice Sculpture Carving. There were many carvings on display and we got to go into a cooler that a few were in. Again, Brrrr. Then we had a demonstration by a contestant of the yearly competition.
For dinner we met with Lee and Russ who "Snow Bird" in Lago and live the rest of the year in Fairbanks. Lee made a delicious Caribou Stew and Alaskan Salmon. It was a great evening hearing about real life winters in Alaska. That's when I heard about the engine block heaters for the cars. There is
A quilt of the Northern Lights on display
a cord that they tuck up under the bumper and in most parking lots they plug it in to keep the engine from freezing.
Day 16 - Thursday August 1
We got a few things done in the morning and met Lee for lunch at the Botanical Gardens. The flowers were beautiful. With so much daylight the plants and flowers grow very fast even though there is such a short growing season. Lee took us to the Musk Ox farm, I have been in search for Qiviuq. It is a wool from the musk ox a very rare yarn warmer than other wools and softer than cashmere. From there we went to a knit shop that carried it. Lee took us on a driving tour of Fairbanks the rest of the afternoon. Pat and I stopped off at Big Daddy's BarBQ in the downtown area before heading back to the RV park.
Day 17 - Friday August 2
Our final day we went grocery shopping instead of joining the group for the Dredge #8 tour and gold panning, but met up with them at the University of Alaska Museum. Where we watched a video describing the
One of the actors at the Palace Theatre
brutally cold winters. Finally, my quest has been met. It was very interesting to hear about life in Alaska in the winter. To combat SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder from so much darkness, outdoor exercise is done often especially cross country skiing, they even have outhouse races, and some jogging groups. Amazing, but those that stay love it, and can't imagine leaving.
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