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Published: July 24th 2011
Lyn left to head to the airport in Anchorage on Saturday morning while the rest of us stayed at the Three Bears campground in Tok, I had to make a trip to the bank to get U.S. dollars, we had been spending Canadian for so long. The others wanted to stay in Tok so I left early Sunday going toward Fairbanks. At Delta Junction the official terminus of the 1440 or so miles of the Alaskan Highway I stopped at the Delta Junction Meat Factory and bought sausages made from Elk, Reindeer and Buffalo some of which I still have.
Just outside of the Junction is a place called Rekas roadhouse where early travelers and prospectors would stop for rest and provisions, it is remarkably well restored.Just north of the roadhouse the Pipeline crosses the Goodpaster River with some rather intricate suspension. Next was a short drive to North Pole and then Fairbanks. Once in town I spent 2 nights boondocking at Pioneer Park where I was introduced to a local custom the Salmon Bake, for around $29. you get all you can eat grilled Salmon and Prime Rib. After 2 rainy days at the park I moved on to
the Fairbanks Elks Lodge where I spent 4 nights getting my oil changed and some other necessary maintainence.
I finally caught up with the rest of the group at the Fairbanks visitors center as well as the museum of the North at the University, both well worth seeing. Saturday morning I decided to visit the Eldorado Gold Mine 12 miles north, not realizing that Saturday morning was the one time when they were closed. I then decided to drive to Chena Hot Springs 60 miles west where I spent 2 day soaking in the relaxing pools. Then back to the mine to learn about placer mining and to actually pan for gold. They give everyone on the tour a bag of crushed rock and a pan to try thier hand and everyone is guaranteed to get some since the bags are salted. It was fun all in all.
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