Aug 29, 2016
Went to Visitors information when we first got here. They have a great museum with informative information about the area. We learned a lot about the local Alaska Indian art, music, stories and dance. It was interesting to learn how the Indians even to this day, strictly live off the land. They eat what they catch or kill and make all their clothing from these products. They gather berries, mushrooms and grow all their own vegetables. The visitors Information was well worth the stop
We went to Pike’s Landing for dinner where Graham and I ate dinner at 11pm, when we were here on the Princes Cruise 7 years ago. It looked the same as it did then but a lot more people today.
There was really only two reasons we wanted to stop in Fairbanks. The first was to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Fairbanks’ position under the “Auroral Oval” – a ring-shaped region around the North Pole-makes it one of the best places in the world to see the aura borealis. Our location offered a good chance for the next couple of days to have clear nights and good sightings. These beautiful and mysterious colorful curtains can be seen from late August through April, and range in color from green to red and purple. Intensity varies from night to night. (1)
We were very lucky that all three nights that we were going to be in Fairbanks, the auroras intensity was going to be a 5 out of 10. This would mean that we would need to get up at 12:30pm, drive somewhere that the sky was clear, and sit outside in the freezing cold, and hope that we would see them. It was worth the effort and I have tried not to show you all 120 pictures.
Lucky for us the first night we were successful. At 1:30pm Graham got some pretty good pictures of the Northern Lights. Matter of fact, Graham took hundreds of pictures and I am just going to share a few of them. To see them in a row as Graham took them is like being out under the stars yourself. It’s amazing and you will have to ask Graham to share them with you. It was really pretty to see. They last only about an hour and they come and go throughout that hour. They were almost celestial to see.
The second and third night was even better. Graham would get up at 1am and check the sky. If it was a good show, he would get me up out of my warm bed. Both nights it was worth every minute of it. The Aurora were on my bucket list and I really wanted to see as much of them as I could. Surprisingly, Graham got some great pictures with his little Cannon camera. It was fun to see him switching out lenses and making adjustments in order to get the best pictures. The Aurora is something neither one of us will ever forget. We have a lot of pictures and it’s very hard to cut it down to the few best. Out of hundreds of pictures, this is the few of the best I picked.
The second reason to come to Fairbank was to go to Chena Hot Springs. It had been a while since we had been in a hot spring or hot tub so we were really looking forward to doing this. The springs were beautiful and very hot. We spent an hour soaking our tired bodies and splashing around.19-
After the spa we took a 45 minute tour in their ice museum. The building is illuminated with colorful lighting, and kept frozen all year long. This amazing structure is home to many world-class sculptures on display throughout the gallery.
This building has amazing ice carvings of animals.
We tried a couple different ice rooms and played around a bit. I guess you can rent one of the rooms to spend the night in. They give you warm bear rugs and covers so you can keep warm
a bar with ice stools where you can order a drink that comes in an ice glass.
The different little lights make the ice sculptures look so different.
Very cool and interesting. We were planning on going back into the hot springs to warm back up, but the first trip into the springs really drained us and we were both hungry.
We had a great dinner at the resort and spent some time looking at all the flowers they had everywhere.
We drove the 60 mile drive back to our RV. OH! It was very dark outside and right when we were almost home, the car in front of us hit a big bull moose with his car. (I didn’t get any pictures) It could have happened to us! This was a big 12 hundred pound moose and it looked like a stuffed animal laying across the road. Very sad to see. You have to report to local authorities if you hit an animal. They come out and butcher and try to save as much of the animal meat as possible. The meat is then given to the local food banks and local Indian communities. The driver gets none of the meat, just whatever is left of his automobile.
Graham went to the UAF museum while I stayed in the RV and rested. He watched a movie on the Aurora Borealis and learned a lot and was very excited about what he had learned. It’s very interesting so ask him about it.
We wanted to play golf at the Northern most USGA golf course, but I just wasn’t up to it. It would have been fun and we would have gotten a certificate of play at the Norther most Golf Course. Oh well.
On our way out of Fairbanks we stopped at the North Pole and saw Santa’s House. This is where he receives thousands of letters from kids every year.
I have never seen so many “things” relating to Christmas. I love Christmas so it was all wonderful to see for me, not so much Graham.
You could even wait in a long line to sit on Santa’s lap (not) and there were so many stuffed animals and decorated trees and Christmas lights everywhere, it almost made ya dizzy! Ho Ho Ho!