After spending 54 years from birth to 2008 living in Iowa I was presented with an opportunity to live in Fairbanks, Alaska. My blog is a diary of the adventure to get to Alaska, day to day life in Alaska, as well as facts for loved ones left behind in the Lower 48. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Excursion

I'll have to remember these pix appear in reverse order from selected. Here's the 4th moose we saw.

Momma moose and her baby.

Momma moose has an owie on her back leg.

Chena River we crossed several times.

First moose we saw.

Brian and Camilla in front of antique car at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

First model of snowmobile (called snow machines in AK) - Polaris mfg. in 1959.

Massage therapist cabin in Chena Hot Springs Resort - note thatched roof.

Chena Hot Springs lake. The water coming from the center sprinkler was very cold. Water in the lake is about 90-100.

Trees forever and ever.

Drive from Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs.

This morning Nate and I went to the Salvation Army Church here in Fairbanks. There were less than 15 people in attendance. The pastor said that normally there are 40-50, however several of their members are on vacation. We chose this church because the newspaper indicated the title of the sermon was to be "God's Promises in Marriage". Somehow we didn't get that out of the message.

It was an interesting experience. There is a large bass drum on the floor in the center of the first row of chairs, with the words written on it "EVERY BEAT FOR JESUS". The pastor's young son thumped on the drum off and on throughout the hymns which were played on the piano.

Their hymnal has words only, so it was a bit difficult to follow the tune to a couple of the songs. We were greeted warmly and invited to their Tuesday evening Bible Study and back to church. I informed them that we were visiting various churches in the area and to not be disappointed if we didn't return next week.

Brian and Camilla returned to the First Methodist Church we attended last week, only they went to their 9:45 contemporary service. One of our co-workers sat directly behind Camilla and Brian and went out of her way to greet them and help them feel at home. Camilla commented the postlude was so loud that it prevented any conversation. In contrast, there wasn't any postlude at the church we attended.

After church Camilla texted me and asked about lunch. We decided to have a light lunch at home and go to Chena Hot Springs, a resort 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks. Brian and Camilla went along with us. The drive up was very pretty. The resort was very muddy as it appeared it had rained there prior to our arrival. We bought a family ticket for 10 entries and went into the outdoor pool. The changing room there had all of one 6' long bench and probably 25 lockers in which you could put your belongings. We arrived just ahead of a group of approximately 15 Asian women. We all packed in there like sardines trying to keep our clothes off of the sopping wet floor. Fortunately they had signs that in 2009 they plan on building a new bath house.

The water was very warm and refreshing, however I could have done without the algae in the water that seemed to cling to our skin. Nate is looking forward to returning for another hot springs experience. As for me, I think I'll enjoy the scenery during the ride up and back. It should be a beautiful drive when the birch trees begin to change color.

The drive back was interesting, seeing a total of 4 moose. The pictures above are of the moose we saw as well as some of the sites along the roadside.

When we returned we ate dinner at the Salmon Bake at Pioneer Park On the wall there is a quilt that is probably 12' wide x 10' tall. It is of mountains, pine trees and the wildlife of Alaska. Following dinner we checked out the gift shop and encountered a couple of tour groups. I noticed the name tag on one woman indicated she was from Sioux Falls, SD. I struck up a conversation with her. Her group flew to Anchorage, and will spend 12 days in Alaska, then take a bus ride back to the Midwest.

Tomorrow it's off to Anchorage for a couple of days.

Thanks to those of you who indicated you enjoyed the photos...I'll keep them coming as long as you indicate you're enjoying them. After all this adventure isn't just about us, it's about keeping our friends and loved ones in our hearts and sharing the adventure with you.

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