Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fairbanks area with daughter and granddaughter

My daughter, Jennifer and granddaughter, Ashley flew into Fairbanks to travel with me for 3 weeks. We visited the Museum of the North. This blockhouse was part of the Kolmakovsky Redoubt, a fort built by a Russian-American fur company in 1841.
The museum is located at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
There are many historical and cultural exhibits.
"Blue Babe" is a mummified Steppe Bison found by gold seekers. Teeth marks helped researchers determine it was killed by a lion. They can also tell it died in early winter about 36,000 years ago.
Native art, painted on salmon skin. If you look closely, you can see the scales.
Jennifer and Ashley checking out an ornately decorated Alaskan outhouse.
Our next adventure was a tour of Gold Dredge #8, a still-operating gold mine out side of Fairbanks. At the entrance we walked under the Alaska Pipeline.
A train took us on our historical tour of the gold-mining operations.
The gold-dredge water cannon lies in pieces, awaiting reconstruction.
After the tour everyone tried their habd at gold-panning.
Nan, Tina, Ashley, me.
They told me I found about $42 worth.
Birdie was our guide at Creamer's Field, a migratory waterfowl refuge.
This is a Savannah Sparrow, singing away.
Tree swallow in a nesting box.
A quiet place to sit and watch.
Ashley's looking.
Sand-hill cranes flying over.
Looking at ducks in the pond.
The next day we drove out Chena Hot Springs Road. The Hot Springs didn't impress us, but we did see moose.
THe Hot Springs were not natural looking.
THis bull moose was at home wandering the grounds.
Back along the road we found a place to camp along side the Chena River.
Ashley panned for gold, but no luck this time.
All the dogs enjoyed the river, except maybe Remi, but he just enjoyed being out.
Herschel checked out the gold pan.
Some of us hiked a trail along the other side of the river.

These folks were fishing for Grayling, I think.
Cow moose and calf alongside the road.
Our sites on the river. Birdie stayed in town.
Ashley drew a raven on the rock.
Eating spaghetti with a view.
A lot of good skipping stones were put to use.
Two morning munching moose.
WE went to North Pole to visit Santa and his reindeer.
We found out Santa had the day off.
But we know how many shopping days 'til Christmas.
Just south of Fairbanks is an old mining town of Ester.
It is a ghost town.
But there is evidence of the life once led.
Even the bird house is empty.
Signs on the buildings explain what they were.
INside the saloon, a sawdust floor. Do you see a noose hanging over the bar?

THe blacksmith shop.

Jennifer peeking inside.
Ditch Walkers' Wanigan- built to house men patroling the Davidson Ditch. Moved to Ester in 1937.
Birdie checks out the old campground.
Mess Hall and Bunkhouse, used during the 1936-37 mining season.
THis bus was parked in town with a sign explaining it needed a part, but was not abandoned. Tomatoes were growing on the roof.
A cloudy day view from the Parks Highway as we headed south out of Fairbanks. 
Next up, our 3 days in Nenana, and then on to Denali.