Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10 – Fairbanks, Alaska

First we had a bit of shopping to do. Our prepaid US cell phone from last summer would not re-activate so I just went to Walmart to get another for $10. The Verizon internet stick we used last summer also doesn’t seem to work. When I tried to re-activate it, they didn’t allow an address in Alaska, saying there is no coverage. I will have to see if a local company offers anything that isn’t too expensive. We may be stuck using campground and hotspot WIFI.

There was a flea / farmer’s market close by that we checked out. It was quite small but there was a guy there with this interesting tree and pedal powered lathe that he built.


He let me give it a try. It all came back to me from high school wood working shop.


Then it was off to the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska.


We first had our picnic lunch on the lawn enjoying the view. Supposedly you can sometimes see Mt McKinley / Denali from here but not today.


The museum is small but very well done with lots of good exhibits on the history and art of Alaska. We also watched a couple of films on the aurora and about what it is like to spend winter in Fairbanks with only 3 hours of sunlight and average temperatures in the –30 to –40 range. “It’s a dry cold” they said.

This huge grizzly bear looked a bit weird with such a cuddly face. Usually they show them with teeth bared.


Comparing mastodons and mammoths. Supposedly the gold dredges would dig up a lot of the bones. The operators would keep and sell the ivory tusks.


There were some gold samples, some of which we would not have recognized as gold if we saw them on the grounds. I didn’t realize it could be so dull sometimes.


A very decorated outhouse.



We can only read so much before our eyes sort of glaze over. I am not sure how much of the last few sections registered.

The forecast had been for rain the afternoon, which is why I had decided to do the indoor museum but it stayed bright and sunny and hot. Once we got back to the RV at about 4, the clouds and rain rolled in.

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