Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alaska Expedition 2010 - Day 12 FAIRBANKS AT LAST (May 23, 2010)

Michelle picked us up at 8am and took us to her favorite bagel shop for breakfast.  She is a riot!  I love her sense of humor!  And, let me tell you, Alaskans make the BEST coffee!  A local company called the Kaladi Brothers Coffee, roast their own here in Alaska, and it is so good, that I bought a bag and had it ground.  Rafael and I have been making this coffee for breakfast every morning with the awesome french press Dylan and Bekah gave me for Xmas.  Best coffee I've ever had!

After breakfast, Michelle gave us a tour of campus, showing us where we would be teaching, where the bookstore is, the rec center, etc .  The campus is huge!  We drove out of town a little way to where the Alaskan Pipeline is near the road.  I didn't realize that it is as long as it is!  Plus, it's huge!

The pipes are built on these struts that allow movement of 12ft in one direction and about  2ft in the other, to accomodate the shifting permafrost beneath the pilings.  Very cool.

Our tour took us to Creamers Field, which is an old Dairy Farm that has been converted to a Wildlife Refuge for migrating birds.  We were thrilled to see Sand Hill Cranes eating in the field!

We drove over the the Alaska Bird Observatory, where they were holding a "Big Sit", and walked out to the pond and met some of the local birders.  What great people!  Dave was in his element, and I don't think I'm going to see him much this summer at all.  I think he'll be heading down to the banding station every morning before class! 

Michelle showed us where all the major "box" stores are:  Walmart, Barnes & Nobles, Home Depot, etc.  We even went into Barnes and Nobles because we still haven't found a book on the trees of Alaska.  Thankfully, they had one there!  I don't think Michelle intended to so much of the day with us, but she happily took us to some of the popular tourist stops, and told us which stores were good, and which ones to avoid.  At about 1pm, she dropped us back at home.  What a great day and what a neat lady.  She even told me where the wool shop is!!!  Plus, she says she can get me a bicycle to ride!  Is this heaven or what?!

1 comment:

KK said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Enjoyed it!