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Fairbanks Farewell

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Fairbanks, Alaska was our final destination before heading back to Indiana. Since our flight didn't leave until 9:30 pm, Kim and I had a whole day to fill and weren't quite sure how we were going to do that. 

Bumming around a city all day isn't our cup of tea and we couldn't find any excursions that really excited us, so we decided to just rent a car for the day and see where it took us.

 

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We saw there was a reindeer and musk ox farm just outside town, so we decided to check it out. Our grandson Kaden had told Kim he hoped we'd see a musk ox, so we took this photo for Kaden. Since it was Sunday, the farm was closed and I had to use my mightiest zoom to snap this shot of a few musk oxen.

So yes, we did see a musk ox, Kaden...

 

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There's also a big dairy-farm-turned-waterfowl-refuge nearby and we had hopes of seeing flocks of interesting birds.

Not. So. Much.

 

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We walked a couple miles of trails but only saw a few sandhill cranes flying overhead...

But apparently that day was National Ice Cream Day (did y'all know that the third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day?  I shall remember that next year...), so we did get a free ice cream cone in the office/gift shop. Alaskans LOVE their ice cream!  And so do us Hoosiers....

 

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When I told the car rental guy that we were in search of moose, he suggested we might have a good chance of spotting some if we drove northwest out of Fairbanks on Chena Hot Springs Road.

 

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Just a few miles outside of Fairbanks, it got desolate in a hurry...

 

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...and despite many warning signs...

 

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...and PERFECT (in my mind) moose habitats we never saw one.  Drats!

But it was a gorgeous drive and it was SO NICE being in a car ALONE with my husband instead of crammed in a bus with a whole lotta people!  

 

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We kept on driving, with no towns in sight, for over 60 miles until the road ended at this sign.

 

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It was a charming little resort with lots of rustic sculptures on the grounds...

 

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Obviously there ARE moose around these parts...they just must've been hiding from us...

 

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This is an original snowmobile.  My goodness!

 

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We had lunch in a cozy and quaint little bar/restaurant...

 

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...filled with lots of mushing memorabilia.  In the winter, this is one of the checkpoints for several area sled dog races.

After lunch, we drove back toward Fairbanks still looking for the very elusive moose population. No luck.

 

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We still had some time, so since we will probably never pass this way again, why not visit North Pole while we're at it?

 

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I actually have a friend back here in Indiana who grew up here and graduated from North Pole High School. When I first saw that fact on Facebook, I thought she was joking.

 

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No kidding.  There IS a North Pole, Alaska...and we went there!

 

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Loving all the candy cane light poles and signposts!

 

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As you might suspect, there is a HUGE Christmas shop...yes, I bought an ornament there...

 

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...on Santa Claus Lane.

 

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I hear that a lot of children's letters pass through this post office every December, and that the high school honor student elves help answer every single one.

 

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Our last stop of the day was Pioneer Park, a cool public park downtown.

 

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It had all the normal park stuff, plus a historic area made up of all original cabins (moved here from various places in Alaska) with charming shops inside.  Again, it was Sunday and raining...so not a lot happening in Pioneer Park.

 

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But it was fun just browsing through, looking at all the cabins and quirky stuff.

 

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Alaska...such vast wilderness...a beautiful place for sure and a trip to remember!

And so ended our trip, as we headed to the Fairbanks International Airport (with just 6 gates...love it!) for our long journey home after a wonderful vacation...

...a Fairbanks farewell.

 

 

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