Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fairbanks, Chena and North Pole, Alaska

I traveled to Fairbanks with a co-worker this week to report for the Alaska Visitors' Guide. It was unseasonably warm, with highs in the 50s and no signs of snow. Fairbanks is about 6.5 hours from Anchorage by car. Don't plan on stopping between Trapper Creek and Healy -- the businesses at Denali Park Entrance are pretty much boarded up for the winter.

I had a guided tour of Fairbanks' new pride, an auto museum. This is the Ford Model-T Snow Flyer.

This is "Wander Lake" a play on Wonder Lake in Denali National Park. The hotel owner who turned this land into a wildlife preserve saved his visitors' view from tuning into a landscape of Wal-Mart and various other big box stores by buying up more than 70 acres.

Musk ox chow down at University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Center.

Hand painted signs adorn a shop in Pioneer Park home to Fun in the Midnight Sun summer festivities. Fairbanks has 24 hours of functional daylight around the Summer solstice. It drops to only 3.5 hours of daylight on its darkest day.

Entrance to Pioneer Park.


Pioneer Park reminded me of an Alaskan Disneyland minus the giant mouse.

Chena Hot Springs Resort is just more an an hour's drive northeast of Fairbanks. The waters are believed by some to have healing powers.

North Pole, Alaska is just 11 miles outside Fairbanks. This is the Santa Claus house on St. Nicholas Drive. Here, it's Christmas all year long.

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