The cruise was three hours long and very enjoyable. One of the first things we saw was a bush pilot demonstrate a take off and landing. Bush pilots and their planes play an important part in transportation in Alaska to make deliveries to many of the remote areas of this large state.
We floated by the houses dotted along the shores.
Our next stop was the home and kennels of the late Susan Butcher, a four time winner of the Iditarod Sled dog races. Her husband, Dave Monson, a champion of the Yukon Quest, still trains the dogs and came out on the lawn and gave a talk on how the dogs were trained from puppy hood to be able to join the team and become champion racers. The dogs were out in force and we saw them give a demo pulling an ATV. They even have older dogs that have been retired from racing but still are valuable in helping train the future racers.
We did see some wildlife, caribou along the banks of the river.
One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at the Chena Indian Village where we all got off the boat and took a tour of the village. The guides we saw were two young Athabascan Indian women who were students at the University of Alaska and work as guides to proudly impart information on what life was like in the villages in Alaska. One of the guides modeled a parka with what is called a sunshine ruff that circles her face. When they slaughter the animals they use every bit of the animal so they is no waste.
We then headed back just enjoying the day. We also got samples of some smoked salmon appetizers which were very good.