Monday, August 16, 2004 –
The next morning, we decided to visit the Ice Museum in downtown Fairbanks before leaving the city. The museum preserved the ice sculptures created for the previous winter’s ice festival. The sculptures represented everything from miners to bears to eagles. The artistic work stood in huge refrigerated rooms behind glass. Many had beautiful, multi-color lighting to accentuate the carvings.
As we drove south on Highway 3 toward Denali National Park. That afternoon we stopped near part of the park to go dog sledding. Because there was not snow on the ground in August, the sleds were on rollers. One of the park rangers was a student from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, of all places. He ran a demonstration of the dogs in work. They later showed us how to take care of the beautiful huskies. They had such fierce eyes, powerful bodies and strong paws.
In the afternoon we drove to the entrance to Denali National Park to visit the Denali Visitor Center, which is located at mile 1.5 on the park road. Inside we viewed a number of exhibits including a variety of stuffed wildlife. We watched the film “The Heartbeats of Denali” and checked out the bookstore. We inquired about booking our trip in the park for Tuesday.
That evening we checked into our hotel, the McKinley Creekside Cabins. We ate dinner at the Creekside Café, which had great salmon. We went to bed early that night because of our tour on Tuesday. The highs made it up to about 100 during the day, but I woke up cold in the middle of the night with the temperatures dropping into the 30s!