Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fairbanks, Alaska, Part 2

OK, part 1 of this Fairbanks blog left you with me getting ready to share with you our visit to the Chena River Village, started long ago by the First Alaskans of the area.  But first, let me share with you our little stop by the home of Susan Butcher's husband's home and home to many of the dogs that Susan used to race the Iditarod (well, at least the descendants of those famous dogs).  Susan died back in 2006 of a rare form of leukemia, but her children and husband carry on the tradition & legend she left for them. Above are some of the puppies he shared with everyone on the boat.  Their home is right on the river.
Susan Butcher
 Above is a pic of Susan with some of her Husky puppies some years ago I borrowed off the Trail Breakers website, and below is a pic of her husband at the Trail Breakers Kennels and their home they built together some 15 years ago.  Susan was a four time winner of the Iditarod.
Here are a couple of pics of the current crop of their dogs (puppies). 
He even had a team harnessed up and take them around the training track around their property.  Above, they just finished pulling him & the ATV around the track.  It's how they train them in the warm months getting in shape for the real race every March from Anchorage to Nome, 1,048 miles of grueling terrain & cold weather.
Meanwhile, back to the stop & dis-embarking at the Chena River Village...This is a recreated Athabascan native settlement complete with demonstrations of native living and lore.  Above is a crude salmon catching rig.  Below is where the boat ties up while we visited the village.
And now it's time to leave.
There were many demonstrations and artifacts at the village.  In fact, I took many pics of them, but too many to include here in this blog.  To see all of them, simply click on the top "header" pic of this blog and you'll be linked to all my pics of this wonderful tour we've been on for almost two months now.  But I must move on to another event while we were in Fairbanks.
At the end of our trip down river, (the spot where we turned the boat around) the water from the Chena River mixes with the water from a glacial river and the mix is weird.
Above, our Canadian friends, Dave & Lorraine enjoying the ride down a lazy river.
After the boat ride, we had lunch at a nice restaurant (can't remember the name, senior moment) and enjoyed the weather/walk afterwards. Above, Lawrie (sp?) and Steve.
Ray & Cora & Nancy...and below, I'm using a nine iron over the water and onto the green (well, almost) 125 yards away.  And below this pic is Dennis & Carol.  Bless their hearts, because they have so much trouble with their coach (brand will go un-named).  But they are back with us now, and hopefully the rest of the way.  Bill & Cathy, our tail gunners previously, are preparing to leave Anchorage & hopefully join up with us in Prince George, our final stop of the tour.  We're keeping our fingers crossed & praying for Bill's recovery.
Above, our replacement tail gunner Lisa.  By the way, Paul & Lisa happened to jump in when Bill & Cathy stayed on in Anchorage while Bill was undergoing operations for detached retina in one eye & severe cataract in the other.  Paul & Lisa are the head wagon masters for Fantasy RF Tours, but obviously fill in where needed when duty calls.  Thanks Paul & Lisa.
Next day we were off to a tour of the Alyeska (aka Alaska) pipeline and another dredge tour, with a gold panning event as well.
While we were waiting for our train to come back around the circle, I snapped a few pics of our group.
Cliff & Nancy holding the door for me.  :-)  Dredge # 8 below...
Above, while seated on the train, Joe shows us how to pan for gold.  And, we ALL found gold in our poke sacks.  Most every one found at least $15 collectively, between the sacks for each, and some couples found as much as $61 in gold flake.  Neat!  We found $21 and kept it in our vile.  Some folks had necklaces & bracelets made with lockets holding their cache.
The staff helped most of us recover the flakes in the pans.
Above, Jim, Joan, Lawrie (sp?), and Steve...below, Terri & Sammy back on the train headed for home...
Next day, we went to the U of Alaska Museum of the North, and saw a short movie and then walked thru the museum taking in history & mementos of past local history.
Below, Chuck being the door man at the theater... 
Had to snap off pics of these two big boys...
Above, it was time to end the museum tour, and head back to the RV park.  And the next day, it would be time to leave Fairbanks and head back thru Tok, Kluane Lake the next day and on into the Yukon & BC for the end of our tour.  But for now, from Teslin in the Yukon, RVing Beach Bums going to s smores party here in the campground.  Till the next time....