We went to our last stop in Alaska – Fairbanks. We did some “touristy” things and learned a lot. We took a ride on the Riverboat Discovery. They arranged for a bush plane pilot to take off and land right next to the boat so we could see how it works. They only need about 100 feet of water to take off and land. It was pretty cool. They also gave a commentary on the gold rush and other historical notes about the area.
The boat went by Susan Butcher’s kennels (they are located right on the river so when it freezes in the winter they can run the dogs right out on it). She was an American dog musher that became the second woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1986, the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first to win four out of five sequential years. Her husband still runs the kennels (she passed away from cancer) and we got to watch a team pull him on a summer sled (a four wheel vehicle) and then they cooled off in the water.
We also got to get off the boat at a replica Athabascan Indian village (pictures 6 – 12). They had high school and college students giving presentations about how the Athabascans used to live. They were very good and it was quite interesting. The kennel brought some of the dogs to the island too, so we got to see a presentation about them.
We were told by several people that we talked to while traveling around Alaska that if we were going to Fairbanks we had to go to the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. So we did. They have a great collection of exhibits on the history and wildlife of Alaska (next two pictures). We highly recommend it to anyone who comes to Fairbanks.
The last two pictures show what you can see if you come to Fairbanks in February. Leslie would need one of the coats that the girl is wearing in 10th picture.
We ended the day with a drive to Tok, with a quick stop in Delta Junction, so that Don could buy some bison and elk for dinner.