Monday, July 21, 2014

Alaska Adventure–Days 16 & 17

Tok, AK to Fairbanks AK

Today (Day 16) we left Tok heading for the Fairbanks area.  A couple hours after leaving we came to Delta Junction, which is the official end of the Alaska Highway at mile post 1422.  Back in 1942 there was already a road between Fairbanks and Delta Junction so the army was able to start construction of the Alaska Highway from here.  There was a nice visitor center there and a nice photo op to commemorate the completion of this part of our journey.




Just outside of Delta Junction we got our first look at the Trans Alaska Pipeline.  This is a 48” line that takes oil 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay on the north slope to tankers in Valdez.  Something like 15% of the domestic oil comes through this line.  We expect to get a much better look at this engineering marvel in the days to come.



Alaska is notorious for it’s mosquitoes, and these sculptures aren’t much of an exaggeration.  We have found them to be unbelievable, and like nothing we have ever experienced.  Of course, we are really spoiled since we don’t have mosquitoes at home in Arizona.



In the evening, we found a nice campsite at the Chena Lake Recreation Area - about 20 miles east of Fairbanks.  The park had 80 some sites and we were one of only three staying there.  Very nice park put likely busy on the weekends.

This morning (Day 17) we headed on into Fairbanks, where we will be for the next 3 days.  On the way, we stopped at the North Pole to check out Santa’s house.  Apparently a number of years ago a developer started the town of North Pole, AK in the hopes of attracting a toy manufacturer who could claim his toys were made at the North Pole.  Well, things didn’t turn out so well for the developer, but the town remains.  They do have a really nice store with all types of Christmas decorations.


Tonight we are at the River’s Side RV park on the banks of the Chena River.  Tomorrow we plan to take a tour of a gold dredge in the morning and take a river cruise on a paddlewheel boat in the afternoon.  The weather the last couple days has been cool with a few showers.  Yesterday they even had 2” of snow in Denali Park where we are heading later this week.


Todays Stats (Day 16):

Miles driven: 194 miles
Hours on road: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Gas prices: $4.26



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