Day 2 was uneventful. The Princess tour began this evening, so we spent the day transferring from the B&B to the Princess Lodge on the Chena River. It's a shallow river, and only 100 miles long. It's murky and fast -moving. It's fed by a glacier and shrinks back down to about 6 feet deep in the winter when the ice freezes again. This river will be frozen by Halloween. That's just put of my realm of knowing how to think about winter! We spend a good portion of the day just resting, finally having some time to do "nothing" after the very long travel days we all had.
Today - day 3 - was filled with activity. We had a group breakfast where we met our tour guide and our group that we will remain with for the duration of the land our. There are just 34 in our group. We spent the morning on the Chena, touring on a paddle boat.
We learned much about native Alaskan history and culture. We paused at the home of Susan Butcher's daughter while she told us about mush dogs (Susan was a multiple winner of the Ididerod), and demos their summer training. They pull her on a tractor! It was fascinating. They lead immediately for the water when they are finished with their run. The dogs seem to be experiencing pure joy with the mushing!
We disembarked at a reproduction native village where we learned about reindeer herd keeping, pelts, native coat making, the meaning behind all those tassels (to show others what a good hunter she married) and beads (what village she came from). Knowing that the animals are taken for subsistence life, not as trophies, makes it much easier to be accepting of the fur.
After the river tour ended, we had a surpringly delicious lunch of traditional miners stew. My, it was tasty! Then on to the gold panning, via a reproduction miners train. Everyone had at least a few gold flakes in their little pile of dirt they panned. It was fun (I was terrible at panning, by the way!) after the panning, we had a mini-lecture about the Aleyska Pipeline.
We returned to the hotel around 4:00 so I had enough time for a nap before the 4 course wine tasting dinner. Again everything was superb. All the veggies were grown here, the halibut freshly caught not too terribly far away. Really good food, really good wine.
Tonight the outlook for borealis sighting is promising! Interesting fact: you can leave a wake-up call with the hotel to wake you if the aurora is visible. We left the call. Keep your fingers crossed!
Here are some more flower pics. They are so amazing that I can't stop taking pictures!
Thanks for stopping by.