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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

The North Pole!

~Tuesday, August 30, 2022~

Day 807 (Travel Day)

Day 71 of Alaska Trip

Being delayed only a day in getting to Fairbanks, it should work itself out somewhere down the line. We were thrilled to be able to experience as much as we did of Talkeetna, whether it was from the ground or up in the skies. And the people….some of the nicest humans we’ve ever met which we came to witness even more by our tire misfortune. And I’ll admit, luxuriating in an “electrical” site, not having to hear the hum of our generator, was quite awesome. I’ve missed that fireplace in our rig that makes things feel so homey, not to mention the heat that it provides.

Our neighbors (early to mid 60’s I’d say), were also getting ready to depart this fine, RAINY morning. They are from Australia on a 9-week vacation touring parts of Alaska in their rented Class C, flying to Germany and Poland thereafter. Sounds like an amazing trip. They had a 1:00 air adventure tour scheduled for today, similar to what we did yesterday, but with a different outfit. We’re crossing our fingers that the skies will clear up enough for them to experience the same thrills as we did. Despite the unfavorable conditions this morning, it’s still possible a 1:00 flight would work out with how unpredictable the weather is around here. We wished them safe and happy travels!

We return to the George Parks Highway (Highway 3) to the town of North Pole (I’ll make sure to put in a good word for ya’ll) with rough roads

once again. But things are looking a little different since our last time through. There wasn’t quite the variation of color that we’re seeing today. Being this far north puts us in Fall changes earlier….the reds, the golds, the oranges mixed in with the green in this already stunning scenery. I’m so glad we’re able to witness this special little treat in Alaska! And it looks like we’ll be following this Fall display over the next month as we head back to California. Bring it on since this is Jeff’s and my favorite season of all. Who knew that we’d be able to experience 2 seasons in 2 months of being in Alaska?

Arriving at our Lake Park Campground in the Chena Lake Recreation Area, we couldn’t help but notice how pristine and organized the area was, not that things haven’t looked that way all along. There is the Army Corps of Engineers side who constructed an earthfill dam in response to the devastating Chena River floods of 1967. 7.1 miles long, it controls nearly 1,500 miles of watershed that would otherwise flood Fairbanks. The other side is the campground, which is run by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation department. The whole area is really set up nicely…..campground, covered pavilions, swimming areas, boat rentals, fishing docks, picnic areas, volleyball, horseshoe pit and dump station. So where is everybody? It didn’t take long to find our perfect campsite as we appeared to be the only ones in the loop.

It is a Tuesday in September after all. Jeff went over to the other loop and found that most of the action was over there……15 sites, all full. Maybe as the week goes on, we’ll have a little more company. Our own little property backs right up to the forest, with plenty of space for Sadie to roam around. Since we’re here for a bigger chunk of time than usual, it made it worth the full set up outside…….prep table, grill, etc. Let’s just hope the rain stays away. While setting up, the ranger paid us a visit to collect our camp fees and an offering of firewood at $5.00/bundle. And their bundles are twice as big as the ones we’ve been seeing for $10. We’ll take 3! He even suggested the best areas to view the Aurora Borealis. Let’s just hope the clouds go away and the moon slows its pace to a full moon, for us to be able to witness this amazing phenomenon.

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