Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Day In Fairbanks

We did a bit of strolling around Fairbanks and there were a few things to see and do. They have some nice parks and a pretty river walk.

The Wrong Way

I had misread the map and we were on the wrong side of the river. I am not sure where this path originally went, but maybe there was an older river walk here at one time. There was obviously some major construction about to take place.

The Walk Is On That Side

Of course that meant we had to walk over the bridge and resist the temptation to jump off.

Helping With Our Resolve

It was a pleasant walk and we decided to stop into their nature center, dedicated to protecting Alaska's environment and wildlife.

Except For The Moose

Unfortunately, in the harsh Alaskan climate those antlers don't last very long so they have to be replaced every couple of weeks or so. This means rounding up all of the local moose and then harvesting those with the biggest antlers. Over the years this has meant that the moose with the smallest antlers have a better chance of surviving and the average antler size has dropped considerably. Soon you will be able to make necklaces out of them.

The displays in the nature center were quite interesting.

A Salmon Smoke House

Harsh Living

They had some nice dioramas depicting the wild life that you are likely to encounter and the habitats that they occupy.

Our Friend The Beaver

Mr. Bear

There were a number of monuments on display both along the river walk and in a memorial park. Most had to do with World War II.

Memorial Park

You will notice the ravens. Ravens are everywhere here in Alaska. The are almost as numerous as the pigeons in most cities. A lot bigger, though, and much more ominous looking. None of them talked to me though, which is probably a good thing.

The Alaska Territorial Guard Memorial

The next two statues were along the river walk.

Commemoration To  Alaskan And Siberian Soldiers In WWII

Yes, I know, people sometimes forget that Russia was our ally in WWII and also suffered many more casualties than we did. To say nothing of the almost total destruction of many of their cities, including much  Moscow.

Statue Of A Native Alaskan Family Group

So Fairbanks had some attractions, but if I lived there I would start suffering from terminal boredom in about a week. Unless I could partake in those bi-weekly moose harvests. That would keep me going.

And then it was time to catch our train and head up to Denali Park.

Catching Our Train

A Happy Traveler

All Comfortably Tucked In

The train was very comfortable and there was a bartender in each car. Beer and Bloody Mary's during the four-hour trip along with the scenery made it a very enjoyable trip indeed.

And The Views Were Great

Next stop, Denali.