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In Search of the Northern Lights

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Click Alaska January 2023

Posted by rpickett 18:11 Archived in USA Tagged alaska Comments (0)

In Search of the Northern Lights

Borealis Basecamp

sunny 2 °F

We were picked up at the Pikes Waterfront Lodge at 3:00pm and after picking up others around Fairbanks we arrived at Borealis Basecamp just after it got fully dark at about 4:15pm. We checked in to our rather comfortable igloo and proceeded to dinner at a very good restaurant that is part of the Basecamp complex (and the only place within 45 minutes!) We went to bed and were hopeful that we would see the lights, but the projections were not favorable, although the sky had cleared and the stars were out.

Our day today was a bunch of fun - snowmachining and dogsledding. I have snow machined before in Yellowstone in the winter but had never been dogsledding which is a passion in this part of Alaska---many many professional and amateur mushers. The temperature was a relatively mild 2 degrees, and the outfitters made sure we were dressed appropriately providing any additional gear needed for cold weather protection.

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And we did get the call at 6:00am that there were some lights, but very faint. Maybe we will have better luck tonight!

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Posted by rpickett 02:49 Archived in USA Tagged borealis basecamp Comments (1)

In Search of the Northern Lights

Fairbanks.

overcast 6 °F

We arrived in Fairbanks with the temps in the single digits. Our hotel for 2 nights is the Pikes Waterfront Lodge sitting on the banks of the Chena River. We have an Aurora View room, but it is cloudy and snowing lightly, so we won't see the lights. As the Chena is frozen over, it becomes both a bridge and a snow machine highway.

Our excursion for the day was to the Museum of the North on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The museum's mission is to acquire, conserve, investigate, and interpret specimens and collections relating to the natural, artistic, and cultural heritage of Alaska and the Circumpolar North. Through education, research, and public exhibits, the museum serves the state, national, and international science programs. The museum develops and uses botanical, geological, zoological, and cultural collections; these collections form the basis for understanding past and present issues unique to the North and meeting the challenges of the future.

It is well worth the several hours it takes to visit.

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Posted by rpickett 02:25 Archived in USA Tagged fairbanks Comments (0)

In Search of the Northern Lights

Alaska Railroad

sunny 0 °F

Today we got up early and boarded the Alaska Railroad at 8:10am for the 353 mile, 11.5 hour ride to Fairbanks. This trip has been on my list for some time - to see Alaska interior by train in the winter. I have done the summer trip several times. The weather was spectacular and we watched Mt. Denali in all it's greatness for several hours with not a cloud in sight.

Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name) is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. With a topographic prominence of 20,194 feet (6,155 m) and a topographic isolation of 4,621.1 miles (7,436.9 km), Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The Koyukon people who inhabit the area around the mountain have referred to the peak as "Denali" for centuries. In 1896, a gold prospector named it "Mount McKinley" in support of then-presidential candidate William McKinley; that name was the official name recognized by the federal government of the United States from 1917 until 2015. In August 2015, 40 years after Alaska had done so, the United States Department of the Interior announced the change of the official name of the mountain to Denali.

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Posted by rpickett 20:06 Archived in USA Tagged alaska railroad Comments (2)

In Search of the Northern Lights

Back to Anchorage.

sunny 18 °F

Once the sun came up we checked out and headed to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to visit the rescued animals. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation, research, education, and animal care. The center is located on about 200 acres (81 ha) at the head of Turnagain Arm and the entrance to Portage Valley. It is a Wildlife sanctuary for orphaned or injured wildlife, as well as home or temporary home to captive born and translocated wildlife such as wood bison. It is a wildlife sanctuary that provides comfortable, permanent homes for orphaned and injured animals.
We then headed back to Anchorage and checked into the Hilton for the night in preparation for boarding the Alaska Railroad for our 12 hours train journey to Fairbanks! We had a wonderful view of the setting sun and the rising full moon.

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Posted by rpickett 01:24 Archived in USA Tagged anchorage Comments (0)

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