7/2 – 7/7 Riverview RV Park; North Pole, Alaska

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Made it to Alaska 7/2!!!!!. 4,984 miles; 3 days and 8 hrs if we were to drive straight through. The route shown is not the route we took.

Were very happy to see miles, not kilometers, and not have to worry about the exchange rate (very favorable to us). It was funny, I had gotten so used to it the last 3 weeks that yesterday I was inadvertently doing the math when looking at the GPS and when we first got our bill at dinner. Unfortunately at dinner we didn't get the 25% "discount", Hopefully the rates stay favorable for our return trip. Not so much for  sightseeing but we need it   for the fuel costs.

We are in North Pole, Alaska which is right outside of Fairbanks. Mike is very concerned about my upcoming purchases in the North Pole. 😁 In addition to visiting the North Pole, we are looking to go Gold Dredging and seeing some Reindeer.

Last night we went to the Pump House for dinner. Mike got Reindeer Medallions 😜, he said they were excellent.

Basically, it is day for 24 hours. Even after the sun "goes down" it's still twilight. So like when we came here 7 years ago and Mike asked what time it gets dark the answer was "September", that's the environment we will be in for a while. Need to keep the blinds down at night or it's very hard to sleep.

It appears the smoke from the fires is a lot more noticeable today. You cannot see any blue skies and you can smell it. As always I have face masks in my bag and might be using it for the smoke if it gets too bad. Inhaler is always at hand for me and Anita.

Sunday 7/3 we went to an old Gold Dredge Mine. We got a bonus and got to see some of the Alaskan Pipeline which we didn't think we'd get near until Valdez. We on the tour of the Dredge we got to pan for gold. Between the two of us we got $10's worth which of course didn't come close to paying for the tickets. Smoke was definitely noticeable at the RV park but not as much near the Dredge Mine.

After that we went to Santa's house at the North Pole. Mike was very happy that I kept my purchases to a minimum (don't have as many places to display in the Florida house compared to New Jersey). I did get to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Turns out they have some elves in SW Florida so was familiar with where we live.

Saw some reindeer's outside. It was a little sad cause they were extremely hot and shedding their coat. It was about 85 degrees, very hot for around here.

Monday 7/4, happy 4th of July!!!!!. We went to a 4th of July Picnic at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. The day before they said it might not take place because of the smoke, it was still very hot for around here but the smoke wasn't bad. It was nice seeing how a small town celebrates the 4th. They were supposed to have fireworks at 4:00am on 7/5 (it doesn't get dark) but because of the fires it was cancelled.

Below is a picture Mike took at 11:30pm when taking Abby out, total daylight!!!! It's a bit hard to get used to, definitely throws your internal clock off. When I wake up in the middle of the night I have no idea if it's morning or not based on the light.

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Took Abby to a dog park on Wednesday 7/6. She hasn't gotten a lot of off leash time because you have to be careful about wildlife. Unfortunately for the first time she was a little timid around bigger dogs (only big dogs here in Alaska) and if they seemed the least aggressive. I guess she did not want to be bit again and need to wear a cone for a week, not fun. There was one dog that came who we thought was a bit aggressive, so we lift right away. Wished she had more time to play but better safe than sorry. We didn't want another vet bill. 😜

Interesting Facts about North Pole and Fairbanks

Fairbanks is the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. Fairbanks is the largest and coldest city in the Interior region of Alaska and the second largest in the state. The 2020 Census put the population of the city proper at 32,515, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 95,655 making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska after Anchorage. The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 miles by road (140 miles by air) south of the Arctic Circle. The city has an area of 32.7 square miles; 31.9 square miles of it is land and 0.8 square miles of it (2.48%) is water.

Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.

Fairbanks is the coldest large city in the U.S.; normal monthly mean temperatures range from −8.3 °F in January to 62.9 °F in July. On average, temperatures reach −40 °F and 80 °F on 7.0 and 13 days annually. The average first and last dates with a freezing temperature are September 11 and May 14, respectively, allowing a growing season of 119 days, although freezes have occurred in June, July, and August; the last light frost is often in early June; and the first light fall frost is often in late August or early September.

At the winter solstice, Fairbanks experiences 3 hours and 41 minutes of sunlight on December 21 and 22. At the summer solstice, about 182 days later, on June 20 and 21, Fairbanks receives 21 hours and 49 minutes of sunlight. After sunset, twilight is bright enough to allow daytime activities without any electric lights, since the center of the sun's disk is just 1.7 degrees below horizon.

Fairbanks is also home to the Yukon Quest, an international 1,000 mile sled dog race that is considered one of the toughest in the world. The race alternates its starting and finishing points each year between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon.

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