Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Chena Hot Springs Road

We liked the Granite Tor Campground on the Chena Hot Springs Road so much we stayed there for 2 nights, 7/25 and 26.  We picked a nice spot in the campground and then hung out in the picnic area next to the river most of the day.
Mr Universe

casual life around the campfire


A raven friend

The highbush cranberries were ripe. I picked enough to make sauce for a lunch dessert.  I also noticed that there were other red berries that might confuse the careless picker.  Closer to the ground were some very poisonous baneberries.  I knew this because I had read "Alaska Wildflowers" by Verna Pratt.
The highbush cranberries are on the left and the poisonous baneberries are on the right.

We shared a bowl of real Alaskan cranberry sauce. Lots of little flat seeds that we left in the bowl.
All was wonderful until we went back to our camp site about 9PM.  We had chosen one right next to the camp host, Bob, since it was closer to the host and he knew we were in the picnic area.  We had left our rug and our levelers, since we had no other way to mark that we had paid for that site.  The levelers were gone.  Someone parked in our spot, packed the five old levelers that were out on the ground back up into the ragged leveler bag and drove off with it. Bob said no one was responsible but us for leaving our stuff there. We had even given him a serving of rhubarb cobbler I had made.

The 27th we drove the rest of the way into Chena Hot Springs.  This is a very interesting place.  The owner has worked hard to maximally develop the hot springs. Besides the RV park, lodge, restaurant, gift shop and hot springs pools, he has developed power generation from the hot springs, lots of green houses, horseback riding trails and an ice museum.  We soaked in the hot springs, ate a lovely lunch at the restaurant and walked all over.
The outdoor pool

The dragon is a BBQ on the other side

Flowers with pools in the background

I liked this bridge

Outdoor vegetables too. 
They use all the vegetables they grow in the restaurant and have to buy some now. But the owner has plans to ship vegetables to Fairbanks in the winter. The resort is open year round and the owner has just bought some more land to put in a ski run.
We were walking back to the RV in the parking lot when William spotted a Moose coming our way from the RV park. Luckily there was a small island with small trees on it between us and the moose. We kept the island between us and the moose. He was headed for the main resort at a trot when an employee came out on a four track and steered it back off into the woods. I don't think that was even a very old bull moose, but it was still really tall.  Moose have 4 thoughts. "Chew, run, charge and Huh?" I think this moose was was stuck in "Huh?"
We wanted to just camp on a gravel bar by the river, so after trying a few spots we finally found a very good one.
North Fork of the Chena River

Nice driftwood campfire and I found a palm sized piece of Alaska Jade in the pebbles. I was looking for a gold nugget.
7/28 We stopped by the Alaska Pipeline display on our way back to Fairbanks.  We like it here a lot, but I don't think I would enjoy winter at 40+  below zero. Although we are told, it is a "dry" cold.
Retired Pig? William chose the background

Me and the pipeline
We are back at the River's Edge RV Park next to the Chena River, after stopping at the Farmers Market and then buying a new set of levelers. More relaxation time.

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