Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 12 - Fairbanks

Fairbanks weather: High 66, Low 51 and partly cloudy all day until evening and then northern lights for us, folks!
Steps walked: Nothing to report because we both forgot our FitBits, but we surely accomplished our 10,000 steps
Critter count: Geese and duckies on the river, and that's it!

After our crazy sub-day, we got up and had breakfast at 8:15.  Why, you might ask?  Well, because we paid $179 a night for this freakin' bed and breakfast room, and we were damn sure going to get our money's worth!  Dumb move, though, because we were tired and the breakfast wasn't that great.  We opted for the bagged breakfast option for tomorrow.

Moose turds (really good hushpuppies actually, but I liked the name)

After breakfast, we actually went back to bed for a bit and then got ready for the around noon.  We ate at Big Daddy's BBQ, which, as it turns out, is another place that Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives has visited.  We didn't know this, but we just seemed to gravitate towards it.  I had moose turds and smoked sausage, and Shannon had a Cowboy Sundae, which is baked beans, pulled pork, and coleslaw in a sundae dish.  Both meals were very good, and they got us off to a good start for the day.

We visited the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor's Center, along with Antler Arch.  It was nice but not near as good as the Museum of the North that we visited yesterday.  There was a very good exhibit that described the traditional live of the Athabascan people (the natives who live in the interior of Alaska) that was life-sized so you could walk through examples of their homes and that sort of thing.  The story I found most fascinating was that Athabascan women must not be exposed to a bear in any way. The Athabascans believe that the energies of women and bear are in conflict, so women must not look at bears, eat bear meat, touch a bear skin, or hear the bear hunting song. Pretty fascinating, and I would think, pretty difficult considering the amount of bears living in this state.

The other thing we learned about native Alaskans (we actually learned about it yesterday at the Museum of the North but forgot to mention it) was about the Aleut people who were interred during World War II, which meant they were removed from their homes and put in what amounted to concentration camps just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The worst part of the story is that the government covered the situation up and didn't teach about it in school, so the children and grandchildren of the people who were interred doubted their relatives' stories.  I'm really glad that the story is now known and that the people involved can have a bit of closure at least, even though they won't get the 3 years of their life back.

Shannon thinking about jumping off the bridge...just because the sign said she couldn't!

The Chena River - check out our beautiful day

We left the cultural center and walked through Antler Arch along the Chena River into town.  We saw a film on the ice carving contest held in Fairbanks each March that was very good, even though the place was a bit janky.  At the end of the film, the lights came up, and we saw that the theater was surrounded by freezers filled with ice sculptures. The temperature in the freezers was 20 degrees, so you can imagine how chilly we were when we took the above pictures in the ice house.  The man who runs the place has won the ice carving contest several times.

The rest of the day was spent shopping without buying and doing a few chores.  We ate at a good Italian place and then went to a movie on the aurora done by a photographer who put his shots to music.  It was actually really good but too drawn out.  Shannon said that it's like when you go to the fireworks and everything but the finale starts to look the same.

The night ended with us doing laundry and packing and re-packing our stuff in preparation to leave Fairbanks tomorrow.  We plan to go to the final place that Guy Fieri visited here called Hot Licks (a homemade ice cream place), see the musk ox exhibit at the college, and go back to Creamer's Field and hike among the sand hill cranes.  Our flight is supposed to leave at 4:10, but Juneau flights are famous for being delayed.  Wish us luck!

1 comment:

  1. funny that you mention sand hill cranes, I saw 6 of them on my way to work today :) I hope you get to see their "mating ritual" sounds up your alley. We got one of the MONDO cinnamon rolls and cookies (of course) from The Cookie Jar, they were awesome.

    Love how you travel, no rest for the weary, we travel like that too, you gotta take in everything you can while you are there :)

    Safe travels on to the "next part of your adventure"