Monday, March 12, 2012

Drive to Fairbanks, AK

Having never been to Fairbanks, AK and having my fiancée Adam here to split the 6 ½ hour drive meant one thing. We needed to go to Fairbanks. The Northern Lights have been SPECTACULAR! So Adam and I decided to head north to Fairbanks to see an even better view of them. The drive itself was stunning. We happened to hit a clear day and the roads were dry. Our destination was 360 miles away but the road is a 55mph one lane highway.
There she blows!
As we drove north the view of Denail (Mt. McKinley) slowly took over the whole front windshield. We finally hit a pull off and took several pictures. The drive to Fairbanks actually goes around Denali National park (on the East side) so we did not get a straight on view but it was still breathtaking.

Panorama view 

Beautiful Peaks!
Once we hit the edge of Denali National Park there were no radio stations to be found. This was not a problem as the “Kristi & Adam Radio” was going strong. Adam was thoroughly impressed at the wide range of genres and songs I could spit out at random. Needless to say Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” and Flo Rida’s “Low” (Apple Bottom Jeans & Boots with the Fur) were repeating songs that we always resorted back to and even as I write remain in my head.
On the road again...the curvy scenic road

look at all the TREES!! That's solid trees!!
Denali the tallest peak in North America!

As we exited Denali National Park the snow seemed to disappear...
Where did the snow go?

Nearing Fairbanks, a beautiful overlook!
We were careful to plan out our gas station stops since there are no gas stations throughout the 150 mile stretch of Denali National park and a lot of the little “towns” (more like villages) that are north do not have gas stations either.

We made it to Fairbanks in a little under 6 hours which is amazing since we stopped to take lots of pictures along the way. We made a brief stop at my friend Tia’s house. I knew Tia since she is the DCE at the church up there and she is a Concordia University St. Paul Graduate. Tia advised us to head north for dinner at Silver Gulch which is “America’s Northern Most Brewery” and to check out the Alaska Pipeline.

Nightfall was upon us as we pulled in to the Alaska Pipeline view point. Fascinating stuff! The Trans Alaska Pipeline System was designed and constructed to move crude oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the northern most ice-free port in Valdez, Alaska an 800-mile route which crosses three major mountain ranges, permafrost and earthquake-prone zones, and hundreds of rivers and streams.It cost $8 billion in 1977, and was the largest privately funded construction project at that time. Construction began March 27, 1975 and was completed May 31, 1977 with the first oil moved through on June 20, 1977.

After seeing the pipeline we headed to a “town” called Fox to eat at Silver Gulch which is the Northern most brewery in America. In lieu of my birthday Adam and I both got steak. It was fantastic food and the drinks weren’t bad either.

We headed back to Tia’s hoping for northern lights but instead it began to snow…no such luck but tomorrow would be another day.

Home brewed root beer and steak! YUM

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