Along the Tanana River to Fairbanks

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North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks
July 11th 2013
Published: July 6th 2017
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It was grey and overcast as we packed up the bike for the ride from Tok to Fairbanks. As a light rain began, we decided to have breakfast down the road at Fast Eddy's before making a decision on wearing rain gear for the ride. Fortunately, by the time we finished eating the rain had stopped and the skies in the west looked promising. So, we took off, sans raingear, relying on our so-called waterproof liners to handle any precipitation we might encounter. Hwy 2 was in good shape, heading straight west along the Tanana River, all the way to Fairbanks. It was great to be able to cruise along at normal speeds, in sharp contrast to our ride across the Top of the World Highway the previous day.
The cloudy weather continued as we stopped in Haines Junctions, the end of the Al-Can Highway, for a coffee break. We ran into several of the same riders we had seen the previous day in Chicken. The temps hovered in the high 50's and slowly started to climb the closer we got to Fairbanks. The local wildlife was still eluding us, unfortunately.
We stopped at North Pole, Alaska, just outside of Fairbanks for a quick visit of the gift shop, where Santa was busy with a line of kids waiting to sit in his lap for pictures. Outside, his reindeer were lounging around, counting the days until Christmas.
By the time we reached our hotel, the clouds were breaking up and the sun was starting to shine brightly. After eight days of cloudy skies and fog it was a welcome sight to see the sun and blue skies.
We quickly checked in, unloaded our gear, and walked ¼ mile to the dock where we had tickets on the Discovery riverboat cruise along the Chena River. This turned out to be a wonderful afternoon excursion that included a stop along the river at a recreated Chena Athabascan Indian village to see demonstrations of native culture and crafts, trapping and fishing, and sled dogs and puppies from the kennels of the late Susan Butcher.
After the cruise, we had just enough time to get to Last Frontier Motorsports (aka Trails End BMW) to buy an outrageously overpriced t-shirt before they closed. The store is 80% Harley Davidson, in addition to doing a big business in Polaris and Artic Cat quads and snow machines.
We had a wonderful dinner at the Pump House restaurant, along the river, the perfect end to an enjoyable day on and off the bike.

Additional photos below
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12th July 2013

The cruise sounds fun! Looks like you have a pic for the Christmas card:)
13th July 2013

You are wonderful to be sharing your Alaska trip! Too bad you don't have a third seat on that bike! I would LOVE to be on it!!! You are such troopers!!! Truly God's country!!!!

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