June 26th and 27th
Yesterday Larry & I went over to Frank’s house (Michelle was in California for a few more days) and he took us on an adventure up the Chena River about 35 miles to his “cabin”. It is pretty remote, not near roads, so they had to build it in the winter when the river freezes. They rode their snowmobiles on the river in the winter, and they pulled the building materials behind the snowmobiles up-river.
There was a lot of debris floating in the river today from the couple days of rain, so we were on a slalom course all the way trying to avoid floating trees & branches. We had to stop a couple times to dislodge twigs from his engine. We stopped along the river at the Elks Lodge to say hello to John & Sharon (they were with us at Dawson City – Diamond Tooth Gertie’s) and they were staying in the Elks RV spaces.
We saw some planes and Chinook Helicopters over the Wainwright Army Base, and lots of pretty houses along the river through Fairbanks. Then the river got more frontier looking, natural, untouched. There were a few cabins just barely visible in the forest along the river, then we came to Frank & Michelle’s cabin, barely visible through the trees.
It’s is still in the process and they have lots of ideas for it, but they still enjoy going there especially in the winter (no bugs). We lit the coals to BBQ our lunch and went for a short walk around the property and the boys did a little target practice.
On our way home, down river, we passed the campground where Bruce & Susan and Bob & Jackie were staying. They heard the boat as we were trying to phone them to come to the river’s edge. Their campground had a much higher embankment than most of river’s edge and you can see in the photo that they are looking down on us.
It was a lovely boat ride and we thoroughly enjoyed our day with Frank.
Today we all met at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum. It was a combination Art, History, Geological, Political museum. There was a little something for all our interests.
One of the interesting things I learned today was about the Aleuts that were taken as prisoners by the Japanese when they captured one of the Aleutian Islands in 1942. And some other Aleuts that were “rescued” by the U.S. and brought to a “safe place” were treated like the Japanese-Americans that were placed in relocation camps. Both groups of people suffered.
We stayed up late because it was so lovely out, and we were treated to a pastel sky about midnight.