Friday, July 08, 2011

We Reach Fairbanks

On June 14, we took our photo in Dawson Creek, BC, at the beginning of the Alaska Highway. Today we completed the set at the end:
The northern end of the Alaska Highway is in Delta Junction, AK. In addition to the landmark sign, we found displays of other Alaska-sized things:
  • The size of the 48-inch Alaska crude oil pipeline (bottom) as compared to the 8-inch Haines-Fairbanks petroleum pipeline (center) and the 3-inch Canol gas/diesel pipeline (top):
  • A "pipeline pig," a huge device that is sent through the pipeline to clean waxes that build up as the oil cools:
  • Life-size replicas of what seems to be Alaska's State Bird:
After leaving Delta Junction, we stopped along the way to taste (and buy) reindeer, elk, and bison sausage:
Now I've see a lot of signs for lost dogs and cats before, but this is a first:
Good luck finding her, Jeannie and Cathie!

We got to Fairbanks in the afternoon, and after all the tiny, rural towns we have passed through on this trip -- towns that don't have traffic lights, parking meters or gas pumps that take credit cards -- the modernness and busyness of Fairbanks was almost a shock.

Our park is right on the Chena River, and we spent a while this evening just sitting on a picnic table, watching the water flow by. This is duckling time here -- we saw several proud duck parents paddling in the river with a following of round, fuzzy, newly-hatched chicks. This mother let her chicks search for food in the newly mowed grass next to the river, but quickly herded them back to the safety of the water when they strayed too far.

Fairbanks may be big-city, but it still has a lot of nature, too.

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