USA: Alaska - Wild and Beautiful VIII
We meet at 8 o’clock for breakfast. Concerning our late arrival yesterday we choose our program of the day just now. It has been decided. We leave Fairbanks and continue to Chena Hot Springs to its thermal springs.
28. 8. 2011
Fairbanks; Tanana River; Chena River; Steese Highway; Chena Hot Springs; North Pole; Denali Highway; Richardson Highway; Alaska Range ; Tangle Lakes
Fairbanks is the unofficial capital of Alaska. The population of 30 thousand is quite many for the area, which is otherwise populated only sparsely. Fairbanks emerged along both banks of Chena River and its confluence with huge Tanana River. It would seem that the town appeared due to discovery of gold in the region. Nevertheless, the town stood there before. In the town you can find well-known university, big shopping malls and many community centres.
On Steese Highway we set out to another interesting road – Chena Hot Springs Road. The road is 56,6 miles long and it ends in recreational center Chena Hot Springs. The center is interesting for its thermal springs and you can also visit “ice hotel - Aurora Ice Museum.”Interests of particular members of the group differ – one part of the group set out to thermal springs and the other to the ice hotel. After the afternoon program our group divides again. Some of our party go for a lunch and others to capture some photos at small pools.
Next stop - the town of North Pole, the residence of Santa Claus. On relatively vast area there are huge “statues” of Santa Claus, his house and a pen for his caribous. You can find here a lot of schmaltzy toys and decorations, dozens and dozens of Christmas trees, a wall where are letters of children from all-around the world with their wishes…
We have around 240 miles left and its time to go. Our final stop and accommodation are Tangle Lakes. The landscape around the road is diverse. Suddenly, on the other side of the road we see two swans, first animals we see today. We want to stop, but it isn’t possible to do it so quickly, because first we have find a place, which will allow us to do so, due to road traffic. I look around, trying to find some interesting object and all of a sudden I see it. It stands not far from the road and is little confused. For few seconds we look each other in the eyes – it is a beautiful American black bear! My request for a stop is more urgent! Finally we stop and I run back. As I expected, the bear didn’t wait for us. We examined bushes along the road, try to focus on distance and we see him at last! The bear looks like much more bigger then the one I saw close to the road. The animal is too far to allow me to take some good photo. Despite that it is a wonderful experience for me! We are not lucky to see animals today. When Dáša reports that she sees a caribou in the distance, we immediately stop, take cameras and we try to approach it. Repeated unplanned stops cause us to get to the area, where are magnificent views over Alaska Range, when its already dark. We drive towards Cantwell, but today’s goal is to reach Tangel River Inn where we will be accommodated.
It’s night, we continue on the road and try to reach our destination as soon as possible. Our wish to accommodate earlier than tomorrow remains unfulfilled. When the midnight strikes we just arrive at our destionation.
In the following part of our Alaska series we will travel through autumn colored nature to the highest pass in Alaska. Drive to next night accommodation will be interrupted by an unexpected night adventure.
Text a photo: Magdaléna Radostová
My trip to Alaska actually started long time before departure. Why Alaska, if beautiful places are really a lot? To fill my dream of travelling has helped me realize my father, an avid hunter, who for 20 years has travelled almost the whole world.
There are many natural parks in the United States. Maybe you think of Yosmite, Wrangell-St.Elias (the largest US park) or Denali.
Previous articles had to demonstrate you the atmosphere a visitor can feel in the United States. Today we will hit the streets of the most important city in the Pacific Northwest.
I went to a trip to Niagara Falls together with my three au-pair colleagues near the end of my two-year stay in the US. It is an unwritten tradition to visit the Niagaras if you are an au-pair in New York. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t visit the falls or at least wasn’t going to.
I had visited Washington D. C. during my two-year stay in the US. I had spent there three days for I considered it a duty to visit the city not only for it is the US capital but also for its vicinity. It is about 250 miles/400 kilometers from New York.
Historical landmarks make Boston interesting, indeed, but there are other places one shouldn’t miss. Only then his/her visit will be complete. These places are charming and have their unique atmosphere. Despite thousands of tourists visit them every year, everyone can enjoy them.
Boston, the capital of Massachusetts and a center of New England, has played a crucial role in the US history. It was founded in 1630 and the key event leading to the American Revolution happened there – the Boston tea party. Being is the city like living the American history itself, this is also due to the fact that Boston boasts with many firsts.
Today, for the first time, is our "reveille" later than usual. Our photo-expedition ends. It remains only to buy some souvenirs, pack our things and prepare for our way back home tomorrow.
To explore the Katmai Island we have only one day – today. This is why we plan everything carefully and try to avoid every loss of time. Do you know what to do when suddenly a bear appears in front of you? You have to keep proper distance, don’t look him in the eyes, don’t run – a bear is certainly faster than you – and talk to him with calm voice and slowly move backwards. Regardless all advice it is still better, however, to avoid encounter with a bear.
In the last part we visited Universal Studios Theme Park. It was, indeed, a glorious experience. So going to Idaho could seem little bit boring.
The Tangle Lakes area is a popular camping site. In the region are many fishermen who enjoy their hobby. Tangle of lakes and rivers which going through a hilly landscape offer enough opportunities to catch fish. Today you will enjoy beautiful panoramas.
The next day we are going to the port town of Seward, on the way we stop at wild river and this day will finish by exploring the Research Centre of the marine ecosystem of Alaska.
The following day is dedicated to the rocky landscape of ice - Kenai Fjords National Park.
Today we will move from McCarthy to Valdez. As I said before, major part of the road was built on former railroad Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Services here are really minimal and there is no gas station.
I have been telling myself for several times that there is nothing better than this place. Such a romantic place… there couldn’t be greater romance. But better comes on the following days, another experiences and again totally fantastic landscape, accommodation… well, it’s just great!
According to the original plan we had to rest, however, after mutual agreement we decide to only pass through Fairbanks and continue to Yukon. If we are lucky, we will conquer the Arctic Circle.
Today's visit of Denali park will take as all day (or rather few days). We were provided with tickets in advance and we are accommodated close to the park, so we can be in place in time, preferably in the first row to have the best view.
Today awaits us a long crossing from Hatcher Pass to the Denali National Park. If we travel without a pause, we would need at least 4 hours.
Several attempts of seeing another eagles was little successful, but towards the saddle of green hills our paths crossed a moose lady.
The next day we will expect gold digger paradise and muskoxen and reindeer farm.
On highway, that follows the Seward Highway - the main road of the peninsula, we are going to the protected wilderness areas of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. But first - visit the musher´s family and their shaggy sled dogs.
The next day we addict to knowledge about bald and brown eagle.
One of place in the world where you will face many predators face to face in the wilderness. Your...
The land filled with beauties of nature, reservations and natural parks. Mountains, tundra, fores...