We got up early, grabbed some coffee to go and got on the road. We planned on having breakfast in Glenallan, just a ways up the road. Unfortunately, the place we were considering didn’t look open so we continued on. There was a lot of low lying fog and sometimes the visibility was poor. Eventually things cleared up and we came across two lakes that were gorgeous in the morning sun. Here is a view of Paxson lake reflecting the sky and trees with a fog bank in the background.
The next lake, Summit Lake was even more beautiful. This may be one of the best pictures of the entire trip.
A little later we spotted our first moose. I think this one is a female but I’m not a moose expert. S/he was close to the road when we arrived but quickly moved off when we slowed down.
Later on we got some better moose pictures but we were pretty excited about this first chance to see one up close.
One reason we left early was that Jan was determined to stop at North Pole Alaska. When we got there we found they were doing serious road work and the regular exit was closed. We had to take several confusing detours before getting into town. What we encountered was, in my opinion, one of the tackiest gift shops and tourist traps in the civilized world.
Among other things, they brag about their 30-foot tall statue of Santa. Unfortunately, to photograph it you would have to stand in the middle of a busy road. I settled for a profile shot.
After a short stay at North Pole AK we headed on to Fairbanks. We were staying at the Sophie Station Hotel which turned out to be a nice place. They had a decent restaurant and, even though they had bus tours coming in, they didn’t seem to be as overwhelmed as previous places. We were also able to do laundry there, the only time we needed to on the whole trip.
Jan and I had a very nice dinner that night out on their second floor terrace. Good food and a pleasant setting. I even indulged in a sinful dessert called a “Chimney Sweep”. It consisted of vanilla ice cream, ground espresso beans and topped with a shot of Laphroaig single malt scotch.
Love the stories and pictures Tom. That Chimney Sweeper sounds good too, actually :-))
Glad to see you here Francois. The Chimney Sweep was great though I was a little skeptical over the ground espresso beans.
Loved all the pictures and the stories behind them. I really thought the Summit Lake was so beautiful. The Santa was cute. Thanks for sharing!