A Stroll Around Fairbanks, Alaska

13 08 2009

This is the first of at least 3 blogs I’ll post on my Alaska trip this summer! I ended up cutting the trip short for work (and illness… more on that later….), but I still had some great adventures to share with you.

The first thing I had to do when I arrived at the hotel was EAT! What else? I’d noticed an unusual place a couple blocks away as we were driving up, and I couldn’t resist:

alohadinner

It turned out to be the best Hawaiian food I’ve had! I enjoyed the spam musubi:
spammusubi

That’s a nice seaweed broth there, too, with potato salad and kimchee. Then I had some very tasty kalua pork:
porklaulau

Across the street was this establishment, but I didn’t shop there:
AKgiftshop

Refreshed and well fed, I was ready for a long walk and short list of caches! The first one was right in the parking lot of the hotel, conveniently located in a light pole base:
firstAKcache
Tourist Cache and Dash

Next I found an odd benchmark with cache adjacent – I won’t spoil the unusual hide with photos, but it was by the handsome City Hall:
Fairbankscityhallview
Benchmark

I ended up walking about 3 miles in a large circle, first heading south to a main drag where I found the answer to a mystery cache with a one-symbol title:
?
Fairbanksquestionmarkview

As I walked to the next cache, I observed that Fairbanks is not really very scenic:
Fairbanksnotscenic

The mountains and glaciers and forests and wild animals are elsewhere. They do, however, put antennae on their fire hydrants!
Fairbanksfireplugantenna
Library Learning #3

Next, I walked north up to where a river flows through the city, and there’s a nice, open town square with statues and plaques:
Fairbanksriverview
Welcome to Fairbanks!!!

Next on the agenda was a webcam, and I enlisted f0t0m0m to grab my photo for the cache while I took this one in reverse:
Fairbankswebcam
Black & White & Red All Over

As I made my way back to the hotel, I stopped by the cache at the visitor’s bureau and pondered why the parking lots are all equipped with electrical plugs at each parking space:
Fairbankspoweredparking
For a Californian, it’s hard to imagine needing to keep your car heated enough to drive it, but it gets far below zeroº there in the winters. Brrrr…..
Visitor Cache and Dash

Apparently, the cold weather is more important than one would think, since they even have a frozen museum!
icemuseum
I didn’t get a chance to go in there, so I remain curious about what the heck would be on display in there… ha ha!

The last cache on my stroll was at a cemetery with some historical plaques. The slowly setting sun and the smoky air (from local forest fires) gave it a spooky atmosphere, too:
Fairbankscemeteryview
It was a quick 2-part multi: Memorial Along the Bike Path

More on Alaska next week! Meanwhile, happy warm caching!

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4 responses

18 08 2009
P.J.

I had applied for a job in Fairbanks that I unfortunately didn’t even get an interview for. But now I get to see some of it through your images!

21 08 2009
Ladybug Kids

Hello EMC:

Thanks for sharing your visit to the Great Land in your blog. It’s always fun to read “Outsiders'” perspectives about this place we call home.

Sorry we didn’t get to connect due to our own plans to run around part of the state.

I agree…the best way to see Alaska is from one’s own rental car, not as part of a package tour. GeoRanger had an absolute blast up here during his multiple work-related trips.

Regards,

Ladybug Kids

31 10 2009
DM in CA

In about 1956 I went to first grade at Main school in Fairbanks. Maybe it was second grade, do not remember for sure. I have been trying to find some pictures of the school when it had all the grades, and swings in the play ground, and a place to ice skate at recess. We moved to Calif the year after Alaska became a state, but I will never forget how beautiful Fairbanks was. I use to have to walk over the Chena River bridge, through downtown just to get to school I later remember having to catch a bus from Main School, and I think it took us to Hunter School. Not sure if I remember that part correct. Oh Please someone, let me know how I can find some pictures of the old Main school, both in winter and summer. Since we have moved away in 1960, our Christmas’s have never been the same, without the snow.

16 02 2014
Michael McGhie

I have lived up here in Fairbanks Alaska since 1968 and went to Main School back in 1971 I believe. Wow that brings back some memories. I remember the little nooks and cranny’s around that place in the basement area. The foyer area went straight to the gym and then office to the left. Stairway to the right to go upstairs. What a great time! It’s now the City Hall that used to be just on the other side of J.C. Penneys. on the corner of 5th and Cushman St.

Here is a PDF that is pretty cool. http://www.fairbanksalaska.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Spirit-of-Old-Main.pdf

If you want to see what it looks like now you can go to https://maps.google.com/ and search the address “800 Cushman St, Fairbanks, AK 99701”. You will be seeing Goldpanner Chevron so you will have to turn around on the map. It’s really fixed up beautifully.

Thanks for bringing back the memories

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