We’re getting closer and closer to the North Pole. Our bus ride this morning took us to Fairbanks, Alaska’s "C apital of the Interior." On the way, we were actually able to see Denali (Mt McKinley), from a rest stop near Nenama. It was a long way off, but fully visible! How lucky are we?
We spent about an hour in downtown Fairbanks, having lunch and browsing in a few shops — there isn’t much here, and the city center is not particularly attractive. Then we headed for our Riverboat Cruise on the Discovery III. We were pleasantly surprised — it was touristy but managed to hold our interest and be moderately entertaining. We actually learned a lot about the Athabascan Native culture, and saw adog sled team in action (quite impressive). It turned out to be a dlightful way to spend the afternoon.
This is the land of the "midnight sun" so the nights remain light enough to take pictures till 2:00 AM or so. It’s kind of freaky, something that must be hard to get used to. We can only imagine what life is like here during the winter, with 24 hours of darkness each day. Add to that 50 below zero temperatures, and we are convinced that Alaska "is a great place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there."