Wild View Yonder

Please visit Wild View Yonder, a collection of aerial photography from Shutter-Eye.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fairbanks and Vicinity

Exploring around Fairbanks took us north of 65° latitude but not quite to the arctic circle, west to the Chena Hot Springs, and south to North Pole. The weather was perfect for everyting except aurora viewing. Late-night ice clouds obscured our view at the very time when the aurora was in action. We could just barely make it out through the mist. At other times it was very clear and we enjoyed a dark sky full of stars and planets.

On the way north, we stopped at a viewing area set aside for tourists to see the Alaskan Pipeline up close.

North of Fairbanks, the sun slowly finishes its daily migration from southeast to southwest.

Livengood Road Maintenance Station: 65.52308°N, 148.54707°W, the northernmost stop in our journey. We chose this location to turn around not for any scenic beauty (obviously), but because we were running out of daylight, had limited fuel, and ambient air temperatures dropping from the balmy daytime high of about -20°F to a likely overnight low of close to -40°F.

A delicate sliver moon looks down on the darkened, snow-covered tree line after sunset.

After dark, at the Chena Hot Springs resort, the large outdoor rock pool makes for a relaxing evening against the backdrop of the -35°F ambient air temperature.

South of Fairbanks is a little town called North Pole. The entire town has a Santa Claus theme and is the destination for huge quantities of Christmas letters from children all around the country.

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