Stan: June 28, 2005 Fairbanks.
I’ve been trying to get this post off for two days. Every time I’m ready the Wi-Fi drops its connection to the internet. The Wi-Fi connection is just fine I now have a Speed of 48.0 Mpbs with an excellent signal strength. The server just loses its ISP some how.
We stayed in Tok June 24 thru the 25, then, moved to Fairbanks.
Tok was a take it easy day. We did the laundry, and I washed the truck. The RV park, has a large cement pad with two high pressure hoses. The washing area is large enough for two rigs to park side by side and clean up. I waited a day to wash the truck, but many people checked in and immediately got in line to wash their RV’s, over an hour wait for some. A time limit of 45 minutes gave everyone ample time to wash off the dirt and grime. The cost was $8.00 for big busses and $3.00 to $5.00 for trucks. I didn’t wash the trailer, it’s not too dirty yet. Where we are now, the Riverview RV park , there’s a free wash which I may take advantage of before we take to the road again.
From Tok to Fairbanks is an easy drive. The highway is very good to Delta Junction, but gets bumpy and roller coaster like from there to Fairbanks. This was the shortest drive, by time, we’ve had since entering Canada, I think.
We’re living in the lap of luxury in the Riverview RV park. We have a 2o by 50 ft. patch of grass between us and our neighbors, but even better, we have a useable picnic table. I think Grande Prairie was the last place we had a picnic table, we could use. In Dawson City, one slide out from the fifth wheel next to us extended so far, the table was almost setting in the front room of their RV. It was so dusty in Dawson City anyway, that sitting outside wasn’t something I wanted to do. Other recent RV parks have been true side by side parking, about three feet between RV’s.
One reason peple come to Alaska, lots of this.
Yesterday, Monday, we took a scenic drive out of Fairbanks. The area we drove through is wet lands with rivers and numerous ponds, some natural, and others formed by gold dredging. The Chatanika river runs down this valley and gold was discovered in July of 1902 by Felix Pedro. His discovery started a gold rush resulting in the founding of Fairbanks. All along the highway, for about 40 miles are mounds of gravel and rock (tailings) piled up by dredging. New brush and tree growth is starting to cover the rock piles; in another 25 years, if you don’t know the history of this area, you might think it was natural mounding. One of the old dredges, is still visible from the road. We parked next to a lodge and café, and walked across the roadway, over a few hundred yards of tailings, to the dredge. The Milepost entry for this spot claims the dredge is on private property and you’re not to trespass. We saw no signs to indicate this, so we went ahead and had a look.
It is the second largest stacker dredge in Alaska and is still floating in the pond it dug when dredging for gold. When we visited Dredge No. 4 in Dawson City, it was in a relatively small pond, this dredge was floating in football sized pond, and Tailings from its operation formed, an approximate, 100 ft. wide, 40 ft. deep channel for about a mile behind it. This gold dredge was in operation until 1962. I think with a little refurbishing and new electric motors, it could resume operations; it would make an interesting tourist attraction to have a working dredge.
On our way back to the RV park we stopped by the pipe line visitors booth and took a close up look; it really is impressive.
Alaska Pip Line
Johnna: June 25, 2005 Tok
Decided to take another stand down day. The Tok RV Village is the nicest RV park we have stayed at while on this trip. The facilities are neat and clean. Each site is separated from the next by several thirty to forty foot spruce and aspen trees with a scattering of small bushes and wild flowers. Did laundry and cooked a pot of bean soup. Light rain during the afternoon.
Johnna: June 26, 2005 Fairbanks
Cloudy with light drizzle as we got on our way. As we approached the mountains, the clouds lifted enough to almost clear their summits. We had hazy sun by the time we got to Delta Junction. Stopped at a couple of view points along the Tanana River. The river splits into many channels, creating a large flood plane. More than a mile across in some places. It was hard to discern the course of the main channel. There is a change in the forest make up as we approached Fairbanks. The prominent leafy tree has changed from aspen to paper birch and poplar. Trees are predominate on the hill and mountain sides with stunted spruce and brush in the low boggy areas. The highway was in good condition most of the way, with only a few small stretches of bumpy repaired spots.
Arrived at the Riverside RV Park just before noon. Warm enough to shed the long sleeves. After getting set up, went to town to find someplace to eat lunch and do some grocery shopping. Had lunch at the Bakery Coffee Shop (super service) across the street from Safeways on College Road. Warm enough in the afternoon to set outside and enjoy people watching. A thunderstorm passed overhead, but we only got a few sprinkles before the sun came out again. Sun did not set until 12:45.