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Wednesday- July 10- Fairbanks AK

Alaska fact- Economy- Oil, tourism, and fishing.

We woke up to pouring rain, so we spent the morning doing household chores. Bob had been trying to get the Microsoft Office to work on his new computer, w/o success. He had it working, but it was a trial version. He had purchased a version, and the trial version was interfering with the paid version. So he ended up calling Microsoft for assistance. He got that issue fixed. We then updated our budget.

After lunch we went to the University of Alaska Northern Museum. We lucked out, the parking kiosks were not working, so parking was free!

University of Alaska Northern Museum

We really enjoyed this museum. The cost was $12 each, plus $5  for the movies. We wandered around the exhibits until the first movie “Aurora”. It was very interesting as it explained how the Northern Lights appear( they are actually there all the time you just can’t see them!). They have to do with solar flares, storms, protons and electrons. 

Otto, the Grizley Bear

Above is Otto, a grizzly bear.

University of Alaska Northen Museum

Above is a table, made in 1905, from Caribou legs, Dall Sheep horns bear fur and wood.

There were a number of interesting exhibits like the table above!  Below is Woolley Mammoth tusks.

Mammouth Tusk

University of Alaska Northen Museum

Baby Blue-University of Alaska Northen Museum

Above is Baby Blue. This is a Steppe Bison, extinct. It was killed by a lion ( in Alaska) thousands of years ago. They found this mummified carcass in 1980. 

There were gemstones, types of fish, types of butterflies, and gold! Lots of intersting items.

We continued to look at the exhibits until the next movie, “Winter”. As you can imagine, it was interesting to see how people cope with living here in up to –100 below zero. There is a bug with does not freeze, even at –100. Because it is a very dry cold in Fairbanks, they think its cold when it hits –50. EEEK! Been in –35 and that was more than enough. The Fairbanks folks think Fairbanks is better than the much warmer weather in Anchorage, because Anchorage is humid! Anchorage folks think Fairbanks folks are crazy to like the colder weather!

Whale jaw-University of Alaska Northen Museum

Above is a gray whale jawbone. We also saw an exhibit on how the Native Americans, who appeared to be Japanese were incarcerated in the types of prisons that the Japanese Americans were detained in WWII. The problem was, it is a lot colder here, so many of them died from cold and disease.

On the first floor, there was an art exhibit which was interesting. One exhibit was of carvings. When we were looking at the diaramas yesterday, there was one on the town of Purgatory. Two brothers lived there, they named it because it was a terrible place. The two of them did a lot of carving and their carved items were in the display.

Upstairs was an art exhibit. Everything from ultra modern,

University of Alaska Northen Museum University of Alaska Northen Museum

To the more traditional such as this beautiful coat and the quilt below.

University of Alaska Northen Museum


Downstairs next to the gift shop was a special exhibit on the first successful climb of Mt. McKinley, June 7, 1913. The exhibit was different. You entered the room and you chose a pin with the name and occupation of one of the climbers. Bob chose Robert Tatum, The Compassionate and I chose Harry Karstens, The Engineer. You then followed  that person up the climb. We became the person in their experiences, both verbal and written from their journals.  Harry turned out to be the leader and the first Superintendent of Mt. McKinley National Park, as it was named when Congress set the land aside for the National Park in 1917. The park was renamed in 1980, when more land was added to the park. 

We returned to the motor home and got ready to leave. We also finished watching Season 3 of Downton Abby! Can’t wait for season 4!

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