or in our case the adventure. We spent a portion of the morning posting to social media about George the missing monkey. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.
I decided to eat Breakfast out. I’d driven by Sam’s Sourdough Cafe a few times and the parking lot was always packed. I’m happy to report it was a much better experience than yesterday’s eating out option. I walked through the door and was greeted within about 2 seconds. I was told I could sit anywhere Id like. It was busy but also big so I found an empty seat. Shortly after sitting a friendly waitress stopped by with a glass of ice water, a menu and asked if i wanted anything to drink. As soon as I put the menu down she was back to take my order. I ordered the sourdough pancake sandwich. It was ready promptly, served on a warm plate and tasted delicious.
The sun was trying to shine so we headed up to the university as it supposedly has the best view in town, the neatest architecture and sculptures. Unfortunately do to road construction and the fact they had the only parking meters in town (I had no change) we didn’t stop.
We headed in to town and back to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors centre. We’d been on the weekend but learned they had live performance and craft workshops on weekdays. I saw a fiddle performance and watched the youth dancing.
Then I learned how to make Porcupine Quill Earings. It was so nice learning from the youth. The girls helped with the beading or worked on their own projects while the boys were learning how to make fresh baked bread. I would have happily spent the day there but it wasn’t fair to the girls who were waiting in the car. I quickly finished my earrings and was complimented on my speed at beading.
We stopped by the pipeline viewing spot to stretch our legs.
We skipped the number 8 dredge tour even though it had great reviews and chose to do our gold panning right on the creak. We had a slight detour as we missed a turn but headed out the Steese highway to Pedro creek where gold was first discovered in the area back in July of 1902, and the reason Fairbanks exists. It is open to recreational gold panning. I didn’t stay long as we had a busy day planned but I took the girls for a walk along the interpretive walk and crossed the road to pan in the creak. There were a few others there too. There was lots of fools gold which would be very exciting for kids. Even the water glittered in the sun like it was full of billions of particles of gold. I found one baby flake which I’m positive is real gold (I circled it) and more fools gold.
Although I had a few errands to run in Fairbanks before leaving town I bi-passed it and headed 11 miles south to North Pole, Alaska. I’d read that Santa Clause House closed early and didn’t want to miss it. When I arrived I saw it was open till 8 and could have easily stopped on my way south.
I headed back to the visitors centre in Fairbanks to check my email one last time in hopes George had been found. I fed the girls we went for a walk to the Antler Arch but there was no sign of him. We briefly debated staying at Walmart with the masses but grabbed some groceries, gassed up at Fred Meyeres and hit the road.
The scenery was spectacular with the sun shining. We stopped and took a few pictures and found a pullout to park at just north of Delta Junction.
Despite losing George and it being cloudy and damp 90% of my time there. Fairbanks has been my favorite city so far on this trip. There have been some spectacular lakes (Boya, Kluane, Meziadin) some breath taking views such as the Portage Glacier hike however as far as cities go Fairbanks has been my favorite. I know I didn’t visit the coast but that’s because an Alaskan cruise is also on my bucket list someday. If I ever fly back to Alaska perhaps on a Spring Break to see the northern lights I’ll fly to Fairbanks. Time it to take a course at the Fairbanks Folk School or learn how to make more intricate bead work at Cultural centre.
PM odometer 4998.1
Wild life sightings: squirrels at the campground and 1 rabbit