Wednesday, June 2, 2010


We made the 200-mile journey to Fairbanks this morning, passing through 5-10 miles of freshly burned timber. We saw a number of active fire crews in the area, and understand there are crews here from all over the country, including our son-in-law Matt’s brother Greg (an Oregon forest service fire fighter), who is fighting the Eagle fire, very near Chicken where we stopped Monday on the Top of the World Highway. On the way in we passed through the town of North Pole. Can you guess what their theme is?

When we got to Fairbanks we proceeded directly to “All American Tire” to buy 3 new tires for the trailer. While sitting outside at our campsite last night we both noticed there wasn’t much tread left on 3 of the trailer tires. The fourth was much newer, having been replaced in Baja last March due to a sidewall failure. OEM trailer tires are notorious for their short life span, and ours lived up to that reputation, having gotten less than 10,000 miles out of them. While we’ve been extremely pleased with the quality of our Arctic Fox, it appears they didn’t break the mold when it came to tire selection.

We’re now in a state campground right in the middle of Fairbanks. There’s a Safeway and Fred Meyer only one block away! We’ve decided to move on to Denali, 119 miles away, in the morning. It appears the Yukon Territory, SE Alaska and now central Alaska, have primarily two things to offer: the great outdoors and Gold Rush kitsch, and we’ve been way over-exposed to the Gold Rush kitsch already (don’t take this personally Terry and Greg – nothing to do with your boat by this name!), and for a variety of reasons we haven’t got enough of the outdoors (except through the windshield) yet.

By the way the Musher Omelette at Fast Freddie’s in Tok this morning was in fact very good, and verrry big. First time we’ve had omelettes with gravy?

Wildlife count for the day: one moose, too far away for a photo.


On another topic, we didn’t previously mention that we placed a geo-cache at the Arctic Circle on the Dempster Highway. “Geo-caching” for those who don’t know, is a hobby undertaken by fans (or fanatics) of using a GPS. Geo-caching is the electronic version of a treasure hunt. There are caches all over the world, though mostly in North America. You can go to the Geo-cache website, type in your location, and it will give you a list of caches within a certain distance. You’re then supposed to use your GPS to find the cache, and add your name to the log, both at the cache and on the website. The difficulty of finding them is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 based on both the difficulty of finding the cache at the site, and the difficulty of the terrain to get to the site. Bob was given a traveling coin (a variation of a cache) by a friend, Linda, in Quilcene, WA before we left. The coin’s goal was to travel as far as possible across North America. So Bob took the challenge. The coin’s identifier is PCXH5V. You can go to the Geo-cache site to find out more if you’re interested

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