Head North, My Friend

Continuing on with our trip to Alaska 2013 … we left the overcast and rainy weather of Denali NP and thought we would find drier and sunnier weather in Fairbanks.

Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong!  Not only did it continue to be drizzly, it got downright into a more noticeable shower, then a full on downpour.  To make it worse, the Parks Highways which connects Anchorage to Fairbanks (aka pretty much the only road to travel) was full of construction and potholes on the northern end for about 2 of the 3 hour drive north!  Usually, we end up seeing wildlife along the way, but even the animals and birds wanted nothing to do with the weather.

When we reached Fairbanks, we checked out Creamer’s Field to see if the sandhill cranes were still visiting, but they had already made their way through.  We did see get some beautiful wild sunflowers though, so it brightened up my day.

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After a few mandatory stops at some of the local outdoor adventure stores, we decided that we would venture over to Chena Hot Springs.  See, of course, I was on the hunt for some Aurora Borealis (northern lights) sightings and though the skies were threatening, I figured if we didn’t go …. I would miss them.  You know that goes  ;-).

Again … no such luck.  While we did manage to have cold weather and a nice trip down memory lane … we continued with the drizzly weather and cloudy skies.  Not even much wildlife along the way, since it was already “open season” for moose.  😦

We did have a wonderful dinner at Chena Hot Springs and met a few friends along the way.

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Though signs of fall’s arrival were surrounding the area …

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… there were also treated to more beautiful blooming flowers.

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That night, we got up twice to check on the arrival of the aurora … along with many of the tourists that come to Chena for that exact reason … but it wasn’t meant to be.  All in all though, to us, Chena Hot Springs holds special meaning.  In 2007, it was there that we photographed our first northern lights and it was such a spiritual moment for both of us, that we got married there exactly one year later!

In the morning, it continued to rain … and the only thing that seemed to be out and about was this cute little squirrel … who was on a mission to gather up, and consume, as many nuts as possible for the snowfall, which wasn’t too far in the future.

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We then decided to head back to Denali NP.  The next blog will feature even more on Denali NP.  Stay tuned!

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