Fairbanks, and the Drive to Tok

Over the last couple of days we’ve traveled from Healy to Fairbanks and had a look around that city, then continued on back to Tok, where we stayed last night.

We arrived at Golden Heart Park in Fairbanks just before 11:00am on Friday. This statue is called The Unknown First Family. Created by Malcolm Alexander, it’s dedicated to “all families past, present and future, and to the indomitable spirit of the people of Alaska’s interior”.

The Unknown First Family, Fairbanks, Alaska

After lunch, I took most of the group to the Riverboat Discovery for a 3-hour cruise. One person, though, wanted to go to the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, and I was happy to oblige. The collection is extremely good and includes this 1934 Packard Convertible Touring.

1934 Packard Convertible Touring

This hood ornament on a 1928 Pierce-Arrow Series 81 Runabout wasn’t used for very long, as the company president thought that having his bare backside facing the car’s occupants was in poor taste 🙂

Archer hood ornament on a 1928 Pierce-Arrow Series 81 Runabout

We finished off Friday at a very good salmon bake, where the King crab seems to be the most-appreciated of the seafoods. The next morning, I went for a walk from our hotel, the Bridgewater, and found this charming antique shop.

Antique store in Fairbanks, Alaska

Our first destination Saturday morning was the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North.

Museum of the North, Fairbanks

Visitors to the main exhibit hall are greeted by this massive brown bear. Most mounted bears are done with a ferocious look, but I love the look on this guy’s face 🙂

Brown bear at the Museum of the North, Fairbanks

The collection of art is stunning, including “Mt. McKinley From the North” by Eustace P. Ziegler.

Mt. McKinley From the North, a painting by Eustace P. Ziegler

We stopped at Santa Claus House in North Pole, then were on the road by 12:30. It would have been nice to have time to take a walk at Birch Lake, at Mile 306 on the Richardson Highway. What a gorgeous day we had!

Birch Lake, at Mile 306 on the Richardson Highway

I always stop for lunch at Rika’s Roadhouse at Big Delta State Historical Park – excellent food in beautiful surroundings.

Big Delta State Historical Park

One last rest stop along the Alaska Highway about half an hour from Tok.

Alaska Highway

The Northern Lights forecast for last night was quite good so I’m hoping that some of my guests were rewarded for getting up in the middle of the night. Two of them saw the aurora in Fairbanks. I looked out at 1:30 but the lights at the motel blot out the night sky and I wasn’t into a long walk to find darkness.

At 8:30 this morning we’re off to Dawson City for 2 nights – this is our final destination before returning to Whitehorse.


Fairbanks, and the Drive to Tok — 2 Comments

  1. Great pictures as always and explanations of what the picture is.. I have been following your trips with anticipation of what comes next. It is a wonderful thing that you share the North with us.