Fairbanks Alaska First Excursion.

We pretty much hit the floor going today. We had two excursion we were going to do. We loaded on the bus to go panning for gold. We stopped in the area P1130555 P1130557where the gold dredge # 8 was located. We had to walk under the famous Alaska oil pipeline to get to the little train that carried us up to pan for the gold. It was a cute little train and we had a narrator tells us about what all the tools were used for on getting the gold out of the land.

P1130559 P1130563P1130558


Then we were given a pan and a bag of dirt then went in and set down by some troughs where we would pan for the gold. It was neat but I could see if you were trying to get a lot of gold it would be hard work. We put both of ours together which the flakes were very small, it added up to twenty dollars.



Fairbanks Alaska

We made it into our Hotel here in Fairbanks it is owned and operated by Princess cruise lines, and Holland America cruise lines. It has a couple of restaurants but like most of the ones that are in hotels they were kind of pricey. I am not good for walking long distances but we found a pizza place about four blocks away so we went in and had Pizza. when you order a soda pop it comes cold in a can, we asked for some ice in a cup he looked at us a little funny then said that they could run to store and get some ice if we would like, but that they do not have much of any call for ice here in Alaska. We told him never mind on the ice. As we were walking back to the hotel Charlotte noticed a grocery store so she went in and purchased some food for breakfast in the morning. Charlotte went out for just a little walk around she was going to do more but she was afraid that she might get lost. We stayed in for the rest of the evening.

The drive of the bus was telling us as we were coming into Fairbanks that some of the homes here our what they call dry houses. They do not have running water in them. These people us a community house to bath and an out house for bathrooms.

Leaving Princess Denali lodge for Fairbanks

We loaded up and headed for Fairbanks Alaska. We stopped P1130530at a little town Called Nenana Alaska for a potty break. This town has a tradition every year where they build an Ice tower they tie it in the river while it is frozen over then they make guess as to when it will start moving as the ice thaws. There was a man there who had his sled dogs, he let us take pictures and pet the dogs. The stop was only ten minuets so we did not get to hang around to look things over. The Bridge that we crossed was called the veteran bridge to honor the vets from that area.


Denali National Park.

The next morning we got up and went to breakfast.  We walked over and took the shuttle to another part of the property, went in and had a great Cinnamon P1130399roll and some chocolate milk. Walked around seeing a little more of the lodge. It was time to go on our excursion into Denali National Park. We walked up to the lodge to catch the bus. We will be around 5 hours to go 17 miles into the park. We made several stops for taking pictures and stretch our legs. We P1130414were also told that we are now part of the 30% club. Only 30% of the people who take these tours are able to see the Denali Mountain, the rest of the time it is covered with clouds. We stopped and walked up to a little cabin that the rangers use for a rest stop when making their rounds in the winter time. The head ranger was there to tell us about it. You will see in one of my pictures that there is long nails around the window. The reason is to deter bears from P1130429trying to come in the window.

At our turn around point we met a native woman who is from the Athabaskan tribe. She informed us about the different tribes, how they live. And yes she said no matter what people think she gets cold.




P1130485P1130437 P1130441 IMG_1051 IMG_1053


Princess Denali Lodge

It was just before lunch when we arrived at the lodge. So after receivP1130362ing our packets with the room keys and finding which building we would be in we went to our room. I have to admit after being in the beautiful room at the other lodge this one seemed like a motel 6. P1130361The room was very small but the bed was comfortable. We had a great view of the Denali National Park from our room. After eating we caught a free shuttle into the National Park. We went into the museum looked around the went back out to catch the bus back to the lodge.

P1130366 P1130368 P1130379


Heading for Princess Denali Park

We boarded the bus early to head to the other lodge it is located around on the other side of the mountain. It was a nice but long drive, on the way we paP1130330ssed by this big igloo hotel. The driver was telling us that the man who built it invested a lot of money in it but when it came time to get it inspected so he could open it, the inspector told him he could not because their were no emergency exits in fact the only door to get out was the front door. So it just sets there empty. Some views from the bus.


Second day at Princess MT McKinley Lodge

It has been Beautiful hear we had a little rain but most of the time the sun has been out. Cool enough in the mornings to wear a light jacket and no jacket in the afternoons. The food was a little expensive but it was good. Our friends have already gone for they were only staying one day. Charlotte and I had P1130283gone to one of the restaurants that is on site. The waitress  was taking our order, she asked us where we were from and we said Texas. Then she asked us a question and we both answered at the same time. She said how cute that was, and I told her that after 50 years together we kind of knew each other. She asked if it was our 50th anniversary, I said yes. then away she went to bring us our food. After we had eaten she asked if we wanted any desert and we said no. When she came back with our check she had a piece of cake with chocolate drizzled on it, there was also a heart drizzled on it, and she told us she put that on and she said there was no charge for the cake. I don’t think we will ever forget that. I just wish we had taken a picture of it.

P1130215 P1130225 P1130240P1130310P1130321P1130313

Princess Mount McKinley Lodge

Back when we were on the train we were given a packet that had our room keys at the lodge, and other information that we need to know. I have to admit that Princess had all their ducks in a roll to make every thing as easy and smooth as could be. We were given a map of the grounds showing all the different  buildings and rooms. Our room keys and paper work said that our room was in the main lodge, I thought that was good it meant that we wont have to walk very far for our room. The grounds were beautiful and we were staying two days so IMG_1003 IMG_1024I knew we would get a chance to look them over. Charlotte and I went into the lodge with our carry on luggage and we were looking for the sign telling us where the rooms were at. From the outside and the inside we did not see rooms for people to stay in, Charlotte went up to a lady and asked her where this room was. The Lady looked at us then asked our you celebrating something. I said yes it is our 50th anniversary, she smiled and said follow me. She took us to a door and said this way, it led upstairs. IMG_0992When we got to the top You could see two doors spread a ways apart that had room numIMG_0993bers on them and one was our number. We went in and it was a suites. We knew we did not pay for a room like this so we thought they had made a mistake so we went back down to the front desk, explained what was going on and the man said no there was no mistake it was Princess telling us happy 50 years. From the window of our room it was facing Mt McKinley which is now FullSizeRenderDenali. We had a wake up call if the northern lights or if the mountain was out. I think it was like two in the morning we got a call. We rushed out thinking it was the lights, but it was the mountain. I took a picture but I do not know if you can make it is kind of grainy but you can make out the mountain.