And to Fairbanks, Alaska we go!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

HELLO, ALASKA!!!!!!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

It hasn’t been the easiest of roads to get here with our hitch issue and acquisition of a new vehicle but we did it. And it feels real good. Our first order of business is to find a dump station which just happens to be the place where our buddies Jeff, Kerri and Tim are holed up.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

We thought this dense field of dandelions thriving next to the dump station was amazing… until a mama moose with twin calves casually strolled by. I’m guessing this first sighting in Alaska won’t be the last of the amazing wildlife will be seeing this summer.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

This pit stop at Big Delta State Historic Site just outside of Delta Junction was the perfect spot to stretch our legs and learn about its historical importance as a crossroad for travelers back in the day.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

But who wants to earn about rusty cars and tools when there are chickens around?!?! I don’t blame them. I’m a sucker for animals too.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Just when I thought my photos of the kids couldn’t get any cuter, this happens. Man, this little boy loves his biggest sister.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

After days and days of driving, we had a choice to make. Settle here for the night or keep driving one more day and then settle for a week. We choose the latter so off to Fairbanks we go!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

The downside of getting to Fairbanks early was the air quality due to a nearby wildfire. Actually, more than 200 fires are currently burning in Alaska so it’s going to be tough get a breath of fresh air. Our first stop in Fairbanks was the car wash. After miles and miles of road grim, it was time for a proper wash. Well, proper enough. After $30 bucks of quarters, we threw in the towel and called it a day. The truck fared well but the pebbles on the roads have scratched up the clear coating on the Airstream a bit. The Mish carries her new travel scars with pride.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

After settling in at the local Elks Lodge for the night, we ventured 60 miles outside of town to Chena Hot Springs Resort for a dip in the springs and to check out the Ice Museum and Hotel.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

The famous Aurora Ice Hotel is sculpted by a world-class husband and wife team.
Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

As we entered the Ice Hotel, we all got to wear warm parkas since the entire thing is keep at 25 degrees year around. The first version of the hotel melted with the long daylight hours and 90 degree summer days but a second version was rebuilt with an unique chiller run using the geothermal power.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Hmmmm, maybe wearing flip fops wasn’t the best idea.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

After the tour, the kids were exploring the rooms wearing comically-oversized parkas as the adults sat on caribou fur atop ice stools at the ice bar sipping on their signature appletini in a martini glass made of ice. It might have been $15 extra but I got to drink it in this unique hotel… and keep the glass! Jeff was awesome enough to carry a cooler bag and blasted his AC in hopes to save all our ice glasses.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Why did we choose to stay at the Elks Lodge in town? Because friends were welcome to camp with us, they offered free internet and showers and best of all… free laundry!!!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

The smokey hazy skies in Fairbanks were barley tolerable for about 24 hours or so.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

We tried to keep the kids inside all day but that didn’t go as planned because we were all going nuts.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Dogpile!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

That’s one way to use the best compact binoculars, Luka.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

The kids have been avoiding their nature journals the past week. I can’t really blame them with all the driving we’ve been doing. So I decided I would nature journal all alone.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

The first minute they ignored me. The second minute they kept peeking over at me. The third minute they started to ask questions. And by the fourth minute they were asking me where their journals were.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

So remember the ice martini glasses we saved from the Ice Hotel?

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

They are now replenished with Kerri’s famous #calypsococktails. We usually like to sip her cocktails but today we were pounding them back.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Because today our glasses were literally disappearing before our eyes.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Cheers!!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

We ventured into Pioneer Park in town for a day of historical exploration.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

A couple dozen buildings from the early days of Fairbanks were not demolished as they usually are in other large cities. These building were actually moved to Pioneer Park to help preserve Alaska’s past.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Even though Alaska has a short growing season, the plants are thriving due to constant daylight in the peak of summer.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Our stop at the playground didn’t last too long when something else was spotted.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

A stream lined with rocks. They girls did a great job keeping dry.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Luka? Not so much.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Oh, life with a boy!!!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Before we say good-bye to Fairbanks, the kids earned a Junior Ranger badge at the visitor center.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

And Dan was on a mission to install airbags so we stop looking like newbs. Haha. Because we were settled at the Eks Lodge for a week, he was able to order parts from Amazon and have them delivered to our doorstep. No problem.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Dan didn’t have all the neccessary tools but got the job done. He started the job at 5pm after work and completed the job around 10pm, with plenty of daylight to spare. Haha.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

While he works on our saggy bottom truck, Yoda lounges in the Mish.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Mila eats some ice cream.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Ava plays some Minecraft and Luka naps.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Sometimes Mila insists on turning the camera on me. Hello!

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Alright, we’ve had enough of city life. Time to head into the wilderness.

Blog Alaska Fairbanks

Thanks for reading,
Marlene

6 Responses to And to Fairbanks, Alaska we go!

  1. Linda James Haas October 31, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Just started following you a few weeks ago. Loving the pictures, blogs etc. Fun to relive our 3 trips to Alaska! What a wonderful experience for you and especially the kids. Wish I had raised my kids on the road! Save travels – hope to maybe meet up one of these days 🙂

    • malimish November 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

      thank you for following along!

  2. AlexGemmell November 1, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    Great blog! We love your adventures 🙂 May I ask about your F250 truck? You say that Dan is installing “airbags so we stop looking like newbs”. Airbags? Is that something to do with the suspension? Why does that make you look like newbs? I’m confused! Also: isn’t that a new truck? We want to get an F250 but I’m now worried something is wrong with them if you need to “repair” it so soon after buying it.

    • malimish November 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

      after we loaded the bed of the truck and hitched the airstream I was noticing some sag to the rear suspension. Even with weight distribution I was not able to correct it. I installed help air bags for the rear suspension to keep it from sagging. It is a new truck but I think because most F250 buyers these days are using them for fun and not for work, they are building them to ride a little softer.

      • AlexGemmell November 8, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

        Hmmm, well that’s disappointing to hear about the F250s! Thank you for the info – I’ll pay more attention to this when we come to buy one. Maybe now we have a reason to opt for the slightly stiffer F350!

        • malimish November 9, 2015 at 11:12 am #

          yeah i would say if you are concerned with the rear end sagging then f350 would be a good upgrade. you might sacrifice the ride quality a bit when not towing though. I have also heard that the Ram 2500 are much stiffer and doesnt sag as much but i dont have any first hand info.

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