Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alaska Day 5

The North Pole
7:30 – Breakfast at the Lodge
8:45 – Board the Riverboat Discovery
12 – See the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
1 – Grab lunch in and explore Pioneer Park
4:30 – Drive to the North Pole
5 – Check out the Santa Claus House
6 – Head for Denali
8 – Eat at Prospector’s Pizzeria & Alehouse

After checking out of the lodge, we boarded the Riverboat Discovery.  It was a fun little boat cruise up the Chena River.  We got to see a floatplane take off and land in the river next to the boat.


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We stopped at the home and kennels of the Iditarod champion Susan Butcher.  She passed away in 2006 from cancer, but her husband owns and operates the kennel.  He gave us a show of the dogs pulling a “sled.”

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Our main stop was at the Chena Indian Village where we learned how the Athabascan Eskimos lived back in the old days. 

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The roof of their cabin was covered in grass!

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An old salmon catcher.

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Santa’s knappy haired reindeer.

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After the cruise we ate lunch at the Pump House Restaurant on the river.  It was nice and relaxing.  Then we headed to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.  The pipe carries oil 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay in the north to Valdez, AK in the south.  In 2010, about 16 billion barrels of oil shipped across the pipeline. 

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This pic is for Lunsford…those oil companies are just money crazed :)

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Next we went to check out Pioneer Park.  We were expecting a small theme park, but no rides here.  Just little touristy shops and a playground.  It was still a little fun area though.  I could see bringing Calvin there to play.

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Then we drove to the North Pole.  Biggest tourist trap ever!  All it was was a smaller more ghetto version of Yankee Candle without the candles :)  It is still fun to say we’ve been to the North Pole though.

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Then we did our traditional vacation activity, enjoyed a hot fudge sundae at McDonald’s….and some fries, coke and burgers :)

After that it was on to Denali!  On the drive I got to open Surprise 5 which was our Wedding Program…good memories :) 

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