Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We're at North Pole

No, not that one. We are staying at a small town just south of Fairbanks called North Pole With that name, you can image it having a Santa Claus theme and it does. There is a Santa Claus House and a near by rv park decorated with a Santa Claus statue. There are streets named St Nicholas Drive and Mistletoe Rd. We, however stayed at a non Santa Claus campground called Chena Lakes Recreation Area. There are actually two campgrounds, one is River Park and the other, which we stayed at, is Lake Park Neither campground is actually right on the water but fairly close The sites are big with great separation by trees and natural vegetation. When we got there Friday, it was almost full but we don't see anybody from our site. There is a large sitting area and you just see trees out of all the windows. A lovely spot. No hookups but it is our kind of place. Saturday we checked out the river and lake and then just spent the day enjoying the sun and warm weather, reading our kindles outside.

We were running low on supplies and so went into Fairbanks to Walmart to stock up. $200 later. Pricing has been high in Canada and here in Alaska. We knew that would be the case. Camping where we are now is only $12 a night. We try to stay at government campgrounds rather than commercial ones. Pricing is usually four times as much at commercial campgrounds and normally not as nice. We do like them once in awhile for wifi or laundry when needed or to get a tv fix. Our direct tv no longer works anywhere up here in Alaska. Fairbanks is the second largest city in Alaska with a population around 32,000 though the Fairbanks metropolitan area is around 92,000.
Sunday we went to Fairbanks Midnight Sun Festival held from 12 noon to 12 midnight. The sun was not very cooperative and didn't show itself much.  There were three streets closed off to traffic. There were lots of booths selling things, clothing, arts and crafts, food and music. Lots of things for kids to do. The crowd was mostly young families and teenagers. We walked through the three streets to check things out but didn't stay that long.

We had a few nice days of sun but by Monday it was starting to get  more cloudy and a little cooler. We went to check out a few campgrounds in Fairbanks, one which looked pretty nice. We went to Pioneer Park, which is a historical theme park. They have the stern wheel riverboat Nenana, an old train car, which was used by  Former President Harding, a few museums and a number of historical houses from around the area, some of which are used as souvenir shops.


Today it has been raining on and off most of the day. We can't seem to get away from the rain. I knew we weren't going to have our typical warm summer but didn't expect this much rain. We want to take some boat cruises, kayak and maybe some rafting and so hope we get a little some days without rain. We can only stay at this campground 5 days. We were hoping to stay longer. The weekend crowd was all Alaskans except us and almost everyone was gone by Sunday or Monday morning. We would have thought they would have let us as we are almost the only ones here but it is not to be. We are leaving tomorrow and are headed to Chena Hot Spring Resort which is about an hour northeast of Fairbanks.  We are undecided on what to do next week with the holiday and all. We might stay at one of the campgrounds in Fairbanks and then go on to Denali National Park area. We'll decide by tomorrow.

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