Day 6 - Relax on the road. Chena Hot Spring
Today we woke up a little later, and we took everything very calmly. We had breakfast, emptied the caravan's tanks. We take the route from the town of Nenana to the city of Fairbanks. We take advantage of the fact that at the entrance to the cities there are always shopping centers and gas stations to fill the deposit. We also entered a large supermarket to buy more provisions. But when we go to the center, our GPS takes us to the anecdote of the day.
Suddenly we found a military checkpoint and soldiers stopped the vehicle. We do not understand what happens! They tell us that we cannot go there without special permission. We explain that we only want to visit the city, but makes us turn around, without much explanation.
We do not give up, and we search several streets further to try to get there where the map tells us. But again another control! This soldier is kinder, and he tells us that there is no going to Fairbanks. This is a military base, and that we cannot pass. We appreciate the information, and we turn around until we find some signs that guide us to the center.
Like most cities in Alaska, Fairbanks is not very pretty. There are many wide streets and low buildings, without any charm. Where we find more life is always the Downtown. There we had a meal and snack at a cafe. We try to visit an ice museum recommended by the guide, but when we enter we are told that the cooling system has broken down the day before. It is better not to see the sculptures because they are falling apart!
We see this as a sign to continue our route. We head for the thermal town of Chena Hot Springs, where basically we only find a thermal water center. We take Highway 2 to the Chena Hot Spring Road detour. The road is very beautiful. As we approach our destination, the afternoon offers us wonderful colors. The green, brown and yellow trees accompany us during the 56 miles that the journey lasts. There are several campsites on the banks of the Chena River, where we can sail and enjoy fishing.
We stop at a small point to pause on the road at Red Squirrel State. It is a small lake surrounded by trees and with several tables to sit and picnic. When we arrive at Chena Hot Spring it is already 7 o'clock in the afternoon. We parked our caravan inside the forest, where we are completely alone.
We take a tour of the facilities. It is a spa with thermal waters, where we can bathe in warm waters until late (from 10am to midnight). We discovered that it is full of Japanese people and they even have many Japanese employees to serve the clientele well. We get a washing machine to keep everything clean.
We dined in his restaurant the first hamburger of the trip. Then we decided to have a hot bath. It has already become obscure, but we do not want to miss the opportunity. The facilities disappoint us a bit, as they are quite old. The hot bath outside under the stars is great. It leaves us like new!
And the best is yet to come. We return to the caravan, which we have left a little hidden among the trees. At night the place impresses much more! It was lonely and dark. We dare to leave despite the cold. It was awesome again! A new northern light begins to form. It is authentic as it is molded. We return at two thirty in the morning, and finally, we go to sleep, but again we close our eyes with incredible memories of the day.
Day 7 - North Pole
We begin to notice fatigue. During the day we do not stop, and we do not sleep much! After the visual spectacle of yesterday, and having slept less than 7 hours, we got up and started walking towards Fairbanks again. We begin to descend towards the south. On the way, we stopped in the bizarre town of North Pole (someone had the brilliant idea of baptizing a town with the name of North Pole).
And guess what is the great tourist attraction of the place. Well, here it represents that Santa Claus has his office and receives the letters of all the children of the world. We do not know how many of these offices he must have scattered around the planet. There is a superstore where we can find all kinds of items related to Christmas.
It seems that the magnificent landscapes do not leave us. After Denali National Park, we headed to Wrangell - St. Elias National Park Reserve. The road continues surrounded by mountains and trees of powerful colors.
We make more than one stop on the way to rest a bit and take pictures, and check what we read in more than one guide. Along the rivers and lakes, is full of small flies. And that in September they say there are not so many, but in summer it's much worse!
The day is still clear (we did not believe it) and we have been able to see with total clarity the 3 most important peaks of the Alaska Range: Mt. Deborah (3,761 meters), Hess Mountain(3,639 meters) and Mt. Hayes (4,216 meters) ). We are also impressed by the pipeline that carries the oil that is extracted from the north of Alaska and reaches Valdez, next to the sea. From there it is distributed in the rest of the country by boat.
We return to put gasoline and clean the crystals in the town of Delta Junction, where we are about to stay for the night. But since it's only 6:30 pm, we decided to continue a little longer and finally, we stopped at the Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site.
They are camping areas, where we only find a plot of land delimited by plots. They do not have electricity or showers or any type of service. The purpose is just a place to spend the night. The good thing is that they are in the middle of nature, and they are very cheap.
We had a good time trying to light the fire to make dinner. But we have to tell the truth, we are not able to keep the flame! Finally, we have to cook inside the caravan. Today we expected a very good night for the formation of auroras, but finally, the sky has been blocked. And to be honest, in the forest, at night, we hear a lot of noise that we do not know very well where they come from.