This is my personal blog about our Alaska Trip in 2013 and does not represent the opinion of the station or anyone else. It is not a news story.
So today we got up early and after breakfast, checked out of our Fairbanks Marriott and boarded our motor coach bound for the North Pole.
This is a small community 12 miles outside Fairbanks that was originally planned to house toy manufacturers and such, but the idea never quite attracted those businesses. The community has Santa Claus Lane, Reindeer street, etc...and a lot of businesses named for Xmas and similar holiday themes. We stop at Santa's Workshop.
Now, you might think that Santa would be there for our 8 a.m. arrival, but he doesn't start until 9, so we shop in peace and quiet, buy postcards to mail, and gifts to bring home to family and friends.
On the road again, we journey to Tok while watching a DVD video on the construction of the Alaska pipeline and then again, one on the building of the ALCAN highway in 1942 to protect and develop Alaska during WWII.
We pause at the point where the Alaskan Oil Pipeline crosses the major river, and we stop for a bathroom break, a search of the riverbank for Jade stones, and pose for pictures with bikini model "Elsie"... except the mannequin is not there, and the vending shack is now closed. Seven years earlier Bob Hein and I posed with the barely covered model for great effect. But those photos have all but disappeared. This time, I pose before the backdrop painted on the abandoned shack, and hold my arm out around her missing shoulders. It'll be more funny when paired with Bob's photo.
We stop for lunch in TOK, Alaska, and to our dismay, the power fails in the business while we await our food. After a nervous five minute black-out, it comes back on and everyone gets their food on time. We pose for pictures outside "Fast Eddie's" restaurant and return for our trek a cross the Yukon Territory.
Now we settle in for some funny dinner theater comedy review, and find ourselves roaring with laughter as the actors come off the stage in the round and draw in our fellow travelers, flirting with them, sitting them on their knee, and cutting up to great effect.
It's now midnight, and without air conditioning in this hotel, it's extremely uncomfortable to try to drop off to sleep, so I write this from down in the lobby where there is air conditioning and a wifi signal. Tomorrow, we plunge into Canada's Yukon territory and the internet signals are few and far between. So we will not be able to send any more pictures nor blog or communicate for about two days more, but I shall pick up the tale then.
Enjoy your rain, the A/C and events at home, and know that each day here has been 89 with sunshine and low humidity, but the sun shines 22 hours and barely dips below the horizon when we attempt to sleep for two hours. It's a weird, beautiful land up here, and all are glad we came!