Mostly good highway from Denali to Fairbanks except for some extreme roller coaster effect caused by winter heaving. Anybody in the lower 48 who complains about frost heave damage to roads needs to experience Alaska roads. We arrived in Fairbanks to heavy smoke--enough to cancel sporting events for reasons of health.
Our group event tonight was at the Ice House Museum. We were allowed to mingle with Ice sculptures of various shapes. It was a welcome relief from record heat outside! Following was a video about a man who dedicated his life to capturing the northern lights on film set to classical music. The effect was almost spiritual.
The charter bus that was to pick up the group for a tour of Fairbanks didn't show. Finally, a replacement driver and bus showed up, but the tour was abbreviated. We stopped at the University of Alaska Museum of the North and the Alyeska pipeline.
Went on an excursion aboard a boat on the Chena River featuring a take off/landing by a bush pilot, visit to an Athabaskan fishing village and Iditarod winner Susan Bucher's home, complete with sled dogs and pups.
Rain last night and mist today cleaned smoke from the air! Our farewell dinner is tomorrow night. Judy and Lyle plan to leave the morning of July 15, making our way slowly south.
We said our goodbyes at dinner last night at the Pumphouse Restaurant. Good food and new friendships. Not much going on today, just checking systems and relaxing before hitting the road in the morning.
Some observations: The forest fire smoke was a major factor, making it impossible to see much of the wonderful scenery of Alaska. Alaskans and Yukon residents we met were extremely helpful to those in need--and several times we were in need. They are also justly proud of their "last frontier".
We invite you to travel along with us on our long way home. Tomorrow's stops include North Pole, Alaska. Anything you want us to tell Santa?
Above: Judy discovers an ice igloo.
Right: An ice snow mobile--slippery and cold, especially in shorts.
The term, "cold one" has new meaning
Motorhome Experiences of Lyle Dean and Judy Lebsack
Right: Athabaskan fishing village fish smoking operation. Below: A permanently sedentary bull moose.