Denali 2011--Part 1

Wow!  What a fun 4 days!  I could tell you *all* about it, but it would be the world's longest blog post!  Instead I'll try to share a bit about our trip over the next few days, breaking it up a bit to make it a bit more digestible!  Today we'll focus on our drive up to Fairbanks and our time in Fairbanks.

My uncle, my sister and I headed out on Friday morning on the 9am tunnel.  My sister and I had rented a 100-400mm zoom lens, so we were eager to try it out.  After using it to get pictures of the black bear across the street hunting rabbits, we used it the next day to take pictures of our resident bald eagle family.

From there we continued on to Potter's Marsh just outside of Anchorage, where she shot pictures of some swans there.  Swans in Potter's Marsh means summer really is over.  Boo.  There was little doubt,'s been raining for weeks in Whittier!

From there we continued on to Fairbanks, stopping whenever we wanted to take a few pictures.  In other words, often! After we got settled into our hotel and got some dinner we checked out the wildlife sanctuary behind our hotel that is also adjacent to the Alaska Bird Observatory.  The wildlife sanctuary turned out to be so neat that we also started our day off there the next morning!

Friday evening

Saturday morning
From there we went to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, Pioneer Park (formerly known as 'Alaska Land', and then the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.  Needless to say, we had quite a busy morning!  I could write an entire post about each place we visited, but instead I'll just say that each was neat it its own way.  The Morris Thompson Center is still being developed, but is a neat place to visit with lots of information about the native people of interior Alaska.

display at Morris Thompson Cultural center

Pioneer Park was not in full operation when we visited, but looks like a neat way to preserve a bit of Fairbanks history while also creating a place for people to visit and play.

cabin/merchant space at Pioneer Park
The Fountainhead Auto Museum was phenomenal.  It truly is a world-class museum.  A must-see if you are in Fairbanks!

So many shiny (very shiny!) cars!
neat-o side view mirror
We left town after a picnic lunch and headed south to Denali National Park, which I'll tell you all about next time!