Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fairbanks Land Tour With Princess Cruises

Fairbanks is a big little town. Our flight into Fairbanks was delayed so we didn't arrive until almost 12:30 a.m. For us, that was 4:30 a.m. body time .... just about the time we got up to start our travels.

We had an included excursion the next day so were up early for a buffet breakfast served in a private room for our group. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the mornings excursion was a river steamboat ride on the Chena River. (Which BTW freezes in the winter (minus 40 F!) and the cars drive on .. right along with the dog sleds.)

I thought it would be 'just a ride' but there was a lot of narration and a lot of information. Arrangements were made for a flight plane to take off and land. We learned about sled dogs from the kennel we passed (people on the shore with mics) and the local Native Americans from a "village" along the shoreline.

We stopped at the village for talks at various locations in the area. Learned about their lives, hunting and fishing, and clothing they made, including this gorgeous jacket .... said to be worth $60,000!

I was very surprised to find that there were NO Native American crafts to buy at the village. It was not commercial at all, except for a book about the sled dog Granite. In a way, I was disappointed.  LOL

I was also very impressed by some of the houses we saw along the waterfront.

Back at the dock, lunch was waiting for us. It was served family style and included salad, roasted vegetables and stew, water and iced tea, and dessert. I took time out to hit the gift shop which, in the end, I feel was one of the best ones we saw, for price/quality.

The afternoon took us to an old gold dredge. I found most interesting the fact that we got up close and personal to part of the Alaska pipe line.


We then got into a small train to be taken about the gold area. We learned about dredging and all got a chance to pan for gold. It was fun. And no, we didn't find much between the two of us.



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