June 2019 – Fairbanks – Our Most Northern Point

We left Tok and drove to Fairbanks. We even drove through the town of North Pole which is known for it’s year round Christmas decorations and street names like Kris Kringle Drive and Mistletoe Lane

We also passed Eielson Air-force Base, home to the 354th Fighter wingAs usual, staying close to any city can be expensive, but we found a nice campground very close to the city center for $30 a day.

In Fairbanks, we are 196 miles from the Arctic Circle and in the northern-most city in the US.

Fairbanks experiences mild summers and long, severely cold winters with snow falling from September through April, sometimes even flurries in May and June. This June however the heat is breaking all records, with daily temperatures of 80-90 degrees, considered a “heat dome” over the state. Of course, there’s no air conditioning, but the Alaskans are enjoying the change

Just down the road was a field full of sand cranes who migrate here every year,  Pioneer Park, commemorating early Alaska history with multiple museums and historical displays on site

On display is the Denali Observation car, used by President Warren Harding during a visit to Alaska in 1923 to formally complete the Alaska Railroad

There are 35 restored buildings from nearby Fairbanks, including the first church

We stopped at The Cookie Jar another Triple “D” restaurant, so-so

This was taken at about 8pm, everyone going out boating like it was the middle of the day. People really do make the most of the long days.

The iconic Alaska Pipeline is 800 miles long and has a diameter of 48″. It was built between 1974 and 1977  and delivers 2 million barrels of oil a day

Approximately 400 miles of the pipeline is elevated due to permafrost

The pipeline crosses three mountain ranges and more than 30 rivers and streams

Cleaning pigs sweep the pipe of built-up corrosion, wax, and other solids that precipitate out of the oil stream

On June 21st, to celebrate the summer solstice there is an annual baseball game that starts at 10:30pm and usually ends at 1:30am.

We decided instead to go to the Howling Dog Saloon in nearby Fox, where they were having a Food fest, supporting the local food bank, with local bands performing

Indoor and outdoor performances

Fairbanks was an interesting city and had a very eclectic mix of restaurants. We chose to eat at the Jazz Bistro which was owned by a Cuban who had moved to Fairbanks several years before and said he loved it.  We met another guy from Sacramento who’d lived here for 27 years and loved it, but found it depressing during the winter months with so few daylight hours, but pot was legal there and he was growing it. ( Whatever floats your boat )

Someone we met said, the $2,000 handout per person on January 1st for anyone who’s here is bringing in some people we don’t want, and looking around we saw them.

Still can’t understand how people cope with the long winter days when there are days with little to no sunlight, not to mention the below freezing temperatures. However the population doubled between 1980-90, whether increase in military or construction jobs caused it, not sure, but it’s stayed consistent since then