In the last several months I’ve done several adventures and trips in and around Fairbanks. First, some orientation. There are three main roads out of town: the Parks Highway, the Richardson Highway, and the Steese Highway. The Parks goes south to Denali National Park and eventually to Anchorage. The Richardson goes south through Delta Junction, Glenallen, and ultimately to Valdez. The Steese Highway goes north to Fox, where it meets the Elliott Highway, going north to Livengood. The Denali Highway connects Cantwell on the Parks to Paxson on the Richardson. Despite the name, it does not go through Denali National Park. Each of these has sightseeing opportunities. Closer to home, Fairbanks is surrounded by less-developed country roads that lead to scenic hills (called “domes”), and views, and is also home to various parks, refuges, and forests.
In July, Blanka and I visited North Pole, Alaska. It’s basically a bedroom community for Fairbanks, and Eielson AFB. This Christmas-themed city has roads like Santa Claus Ln. and St. Nicholas Dr., sports candy cane street lights, and has a big Santa statue next to the highway. While there, we visited the Santa Claus House, a year-round store for Christmas kitsch. They have live reindeer in the yard.
Later that month, I drove the Richardson Highway down to Delta Junction for no particular reason. Highlights of that trip included seeing farm fields, and the Alyeska Pipeline crossing the Tanana River.
In early August, I spent the day outdoors hiking Ester Dome near Fairbanks, and later the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, in Fairbanks.
In mid-August I got my first opportunity to go out in the field for work, to fix a temperature sensor at Alpine Creek Lodge, on the Denali Highway.
After that, during Blanka’s next visit, we took a road trip up the Elliott Highway. Our goal was to take the Dalton Highway north to the Yukon River bridge, but road construction stalled us out, and we turned around. We plan to make it there eventually.
Below are photos taken during these adventures. I could go on with explanation, but I won’t. These photos should speak for themselves.