Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
73Trip End Sep 10, 2009
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Where I stayed
Riverview RV Park
Our tour bus picked us up at 8:30 a.m. to take us first to the Fairbanks Ice Museum. Billed as "The Coolest Show in Town," the Ice Museum is home to Freeze Frame, a large screen multi-image presentation that tracks, from start to finish, the process of Ice Art. The International Ice Sculpting Competition is held each March in Fairbanks.
Following the film, we had time to explore the Ice Showcase, a walk-in display case that maintains a constant temperature of 20 degrees. Inside are
the results of hours of work on over 40,000 lbs. of world-famous Fairbanks ice. The sculptures could also be viewed through the glass fronted case, but it was more fun to step into the cold and be "one with the ice." Brrrrrrr
Our host then sculpted a flower design in a small chunk of ice about 20" X 30". It was incredible what he accomplished in a short amount of time.
We walked to the City Visitor's Center not far down the street. The flowers here seem especially beautiful and their colors exceedingly vibrant. We saw a litter of sled dog puppies and this time, for those of you who were disappointed that I passed up the opportunity the other day, took a couple of pictures.
From there, the bus dropped us off for lunch. We had a choice of McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Subway, a neighborhood restaurant, or a bag lunch. We all split up in different directions and met back at the bus an hour later to travel to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Museum. We were ushered into an auditorium where a movie about the Northern Lights was being shown. Since Art and I have had just about enough about the Aurora crammed down our throats, we promptly exited and browsed the museums five exhibits and its store.
From the museum's parking lot we were able to see where the forest fire near here is burning. More than 400 fires have burned close to a million acres in Alaska this summer, and with continued warm, dry conditions, active fires are expected to increase in size. We had lots of ash on our PT this morning.
I fell asleep in the bus on the way back to the campground and the little nap gave me enough energy to do four loads of laundry and to make a double batch of fudge to share on our bus tour tomorrow.