Friday, October 2, 2009

Alaska Bits -- 13 -- with a SkyWatch

We had two major excursions while in Fairbanks, and though totally designed for the tourist, they were so well orchestrated that you almost didn't notice. (Well, not till you got to the gift shop, anyway.)

The one was a trip on the Chena River on the Riverboat Discovery. Expecting just a quiet boat ride, you are surprised by the entertainment and education provided. The first event was the take off and landing of a bush plane on the river by your side.

That's the original Discovery I docked over by the shore. We were on the Discovery III, with three decks and both indoor and outdoor seating, but otherwise very similar in construction. And that is the plane about to take off in the foreground.

Off the ground now--or should I say off the river. As in Anchorage, many small planes in Fairbanks boast floats in the summer and skis for winter landings. Their landing strip is the same either way, the Chena River.

This is where I pop in with the SkyWatch notice. You can see lots of other sky views from around the world today linked at the SkyWatch site.

The small plane made several swoops of the area as our commentator talked with the pilot about flying in the bush.

...demonstrating how he could share his "runway" with the boat...

...quite closely, before he flew off home.

Our next presentation was a visit with some sled dogs eager to show their stuff. those dogs want to pull. It's what they live for.

This is the kennel of Susan Butcher, who won the Iditarod three times. Susan passed away a couple of years ago from leukemia. Her family continues to raise the dogs and her husband told us about sledding...

...before hooking the team up for a summertime training run. The four wheeler (motorless) has to be anchored while they hook up the team or they would take off with it before he could get on.

And they are off! Get that gate open! They aren't going to wait for anything. The other dogs in the kennels climb on top of their doghouses or rush to the fence--excited for their friends but a little jealous because they don't get to go this time.
The final stop on our tour before returning to dock was a model Athabascan village, where young people from various native groups explained the life in a village, at fish camp, and many traditions that they still preserve


SandyCarlson said...

What an interesting place. Looks like quite an adventure to be there.

Lily Hydrangea said...

wow! what an adventure, looks like there is something always going on!

eileeninmd said...

Great photos, I enjoyed Alaska and the ports. The excursions are a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing your photos and skywatch.

Barb said...

HI Katney,
I've never been to Alaska so really enjoyed your photos. I liked the dog training ones. The sea plane shots are fabulous!

PERBS said...

Loved the dogs on the roof watching it all happen in jealousy! lol

Splendid Little Stars said...

This is a most fascinating post! I would love to visit Alaska one day.

Leif Hagen said...

Hello Katney! I spotted your "Odd shot" logo with the words - Hilda from Manila Daily photo said it's yours. Could I use it/"borrow" it?

Kind regards from Leif at EAGAN daily photo