Day 33: Prepping to go South

Today was mostly about preparing for the journey south, but I also went out and explored Fairbanks and took a spin on the paddleboard. First up in the morning was a trip to the mechanic to have the bus looked over. Everything looked great! Phew! Knock on wood I’ll have no more mechanical issues! After that I treated the bus to a nice sudsing and scrubbed all the bugs off the front of the bus and the road dust off the back. She was so dirty! I had to get a scrubby sponge out to get the dried on bugs off! It was rather gross. With a freshly cleaned bus it was time to restock the kitchen. After that I went back to the RV park to make lunch and walk Pepper. I love being so close to a river and a nice walking trail. After the walk, it was my turn for some exercise. I inflated the paddleboard, jumped in the river and paddled up stream. Now Paddling in a lake or ocean are one thing. Paddling upstream, even in a calm slow moving river, is another! It felt like I only went like 1/2 mile but I was out there over an hour. Time to shower and then head over to Pioneer Park. Founded to celebrate the history of Alaska and the role of the gold rush in the founding of Fairbanks, Pioneer Park is a representation of an early gold mining town. They use some historic buildings and some replicas to tell the tale. It was a little cheesy (complete with olde tyme photo booth) but the kids seemed to love it. One of the items that I found especially interesting is the train car President Warren G Harding rode in when he visited Alaska in 1923. He was the first US President to visit Alaska. He also happens to be a distant relative, so there was a personal connection to the car.

After getting my fill of Pioneer Park I met up with a friend of mine who is stationed in Fairbanks. He took me on a tour of Fort Wainwright and we searched for a sign pointing to “Ladd Army Airfield”. Sadly all we could find is some small print on a warning sign. But it will have to do. After that we grabbed a beer at Hoodoo brewery. They are limited by their liquor license to only sell 36 oz to each person each day. Coming from Colorado where all our breweries will sell you all the beer you want, it was a really strange rule.

After the beers I went back to the RV park, filled the water tanks, and finished my preparations to start the long journey back south. This is the furthest north I’ll be. From this point on, each day brings me closer to being home.