5-27-13 Did some local touring. With winter temperatures commonly –60 –- have to ask WHY Fairbanks? Folks seem to survive, thrive and stay in Fairbanks in spite of the short days and long winter. Fairbanks has all the regular shopping / restaurants. Regular homes in the city, mixed with occasional log cabins. Many country homes just gather collections of stuff…..just seem to keep adding to the piles. Then there are new, modern homes of all types next door.
The pipeline is very interesting. 4’ inside diameter surrounded by insulation and steel covering. The “H” supports keep the pipeline above the ground and the heat exchangers from thawing the permafrost layer. The pipeline runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez ~800 miles. ~half is above the ground, the other half below.
The Gold Dredge 8 was very interesting tour on the methods of gold mining. From lighting fires on the frozen winter soils to thaw the ground a few inches at a time and piling the rock to sift thru in the spring, to water cannons blasting the hillsides, to the huge Dredge digging machines – it was hard, cold, dirty work.
And of course we had a chance to pan for gold……… Denny was pretty darn good at it! Together our ‘flakes’ valued at $27.00
With the warm 80’s – groups are still enjoying float trips on the Chena River. Water moves quickly on the surface, currents below are treacherous and certainly COLD.
Tomorrow the Discovery Paddle Boat Tour……