When you get to Fairbanks you are at just one degree latitude off the Arctic Circle. Just a little bit to the north of the town the pavement ends on the long haul road that goes to Prudhoe Bay and if you want to get north of town you will be rattled in a van that carries tourist to the Circle. We settled for a more sedate tour of the Chena River, a very touristy affair but organized so well and with so much information that it makes the entire experience absolutely charming. From dog sledding, to Caribou farming, to Salmon drying, hydro plane flying, all the Alaskan and natives skills were packaged in a fast but a highly rewarding tour.
A little bit more than a hour from the city a paved road goes to Chena Hot Sprigs where the road ends inside the resort. this is one of the cool things about Alaska, driving on roads that end in front of you. Inside the resort it’s located the Aurora Ice Museum where a master ice sculptor creates a frozen world of statues and forms.
Inside the museum it’s a bar that serves drinks in ice glasses that would melt outside and an ice hotel that can be booked for the night. Obviously with no heat and no bathroom inside the hotel….A little less tempting…
In Fairbanks you feel that you are far away. The city looks so remote and sort of deserted when you walk in its center in the evening flooded by the midnight sun. A little bit to the north of town it’s the top Alaskan University whose new museum building is spectacular.