Days 15 - August 25, 2009

Miles Traveled: 214.6 miles

Max Speed: 53.7 miles per hour

Notable Stops: Left Fairbanks, arrived in Tok

Daily High:

Daily Low:

Notable Weather: Completely cloudy and rainy until who knows how many miles outside of Fairbanks then partially cloudy most the rest of the way


I woke up craving more Salmon Bake food. That was really good. I recommend everyone who visits Alaska attend a Salmon Bake.


It rained on us last night and into this morning. It was even raining off and on while we packed up camp/folded up the tarp. However, we had a few things we wanted to do before we left town so we set out to do them.


We stopped by the Best Western to try to visit William (son of a family friend). He was not at work though.


Museum at the University of Fairbanks


We went to the museum at the University of Fairbanks. We did not have a lot of time to spend there. So we only looked at the Alaska exhibit and the special exhibit of the polar bear photographs. Both were awesome and worth the price of admission.


While we were parking the Speedster and Teardrop one of the bus drivers there at the University stopped to ask questions about the Speedster and our trip. When we were done at the museum the bus driver stopped at our car again. Some of the other bus drivers had questions about our car. This bus driver was asking more questions on behalf of the other bus drivers. I thought that was too cool that several of the bus drivers were talking about our car.


Something else that was interesting…just before we left the museum Matt stopped to go to the bathroom. The men’s room was closed for cleaning though. When Matt poked his head in, the cleaning ladies noticed Matt’s shirt and realized he must be related to “the car”. (Matt was wearing his NorCal Regional Group Horseless Carriage shirt.) Just before the ladies clocked into work they were out in the parking lot admiring the car. They asked him several questions about the car and our trip. Then, they stopped cleaning and let Matt use the men’s room.


An Umbrella


We shopped for more food and a few other incidentals at Fred Myers.


We ate lunch at the same Taco Bell we ate at yesterday afternoon.


While eating I devised visor wipers using magnets for Matt’s and my helmets. This way we could wipe the condensation off the inside of our visors without having to open them.


After lunch it was still raining. Matt went to get gas next door and was coming back to get me. While I waited a nice couple also eating at Taco Bell started asking me questions about the car. I happily answered their questions. When I answered their questions about the lack of windshield and top in the car and how we stay dry in the rain the lady excused herself from the table and conversation. The lady appeared a minute or so later with an umbrella with the Alaska state flag on it. She told me she wanted me to have it. I thanked her and politely declined the gift but she insisted I would need it on the trip. So I accepted and thanked her very much. I left thinking how neat it was that the lady was so concerned and generous that she gave me her umbrella.


A Few More Things on Our Fairbanks Agenda


After lunch we visited the pipeline lookout just out of town. The last two things on the agenda were to get Matt a Fairbanks pin and take a picture of the car in front of a Fairbanks sign. The couple in Taco Bell told me we could find such a sign at the airport.


We drove to the pipeline lookout just outside of Fairbanks. We took pictures of the Speedster, Teardrop and ourselves in front of the pipeline.


After tracking down an Alaska pin (because we could not find a Fairbanks specific pin) we decided we didn’t need the picture in front of the Fairbanks sign and we hit the road for Tok.


Driving to Toke


After we left Fairbanks (I don’t know how many miles), the rain quit falling on us. Our rain suits were able to dry off.


We stopped to take another picture of the pipeline where it crosses the river around the town of Delta.


At one point during the drive I commented that the motor meter was vibrating more than I’ve ever seen it vibrate before. Turns out when the car over heated the other day it broke the solder joint between the neck of the radiator and the top of the radiator. This is causing the motor meter on top of the radiator neck to vibrate more than usual.


Fortunately, the neck is still being held on the radiator by three rivets so the neck and motor meter are unlikely to snap off the radiator. That is a relief for many reasons. The lest obvious of which is that I have a recurring nightmare in which I get nailed in the head by the motor meter when the motor meter snaps off the radiator at 55 miles per hour.


Opening Day of Moose Hunting Season


Before reaching Tok we were forced to slow down on the highway as a cow moose and her calf crossed in front of us on the highway. Along the same stretch of highway we noticed many people driving at a slow crawl speed. We could not figure out what was so special about that stretch of highway that everyone slowed to a snail’s pace.


Finally, we stopped to take a picture along side the road when an Indian looking guy stopped to ask if we’d seen any moose. We answered that we saw two about 100 miles back. That was too far away to concern this man. He then explained that today is the first day of moose hunting season and the valley we were driving through was full of hunters hunting moose.


That explained it, everyone was driving supper slow on this stretch of highway because they were looking for moose to get out and shoot.


In Tok


The campground in Tok was nice and very large. Internet was not included in the price of the campsite so I didn’t update the web site. I did, however finish the trim on the pink shrug.


I had a terrible ringing in my ears all evening.


At the campground the couple in the campsite next to us invited us over for hot chocolate. We declined because we’d already had hot chocolate and were getting ready for bed. However, they stayed a bit, spoke to Matt and asked questions about the car. Turns out they are from Winters, California (very near Sacramento) and were moving to Anchorage. When they saw us drive in they were sure we must be part of a TV show. They kept expecting a camera crew to pull in after us. Obviously, a camera crew never followed.

Fairbanks from the Window of the Museum at the University of Fairbanks Matt Next to a Grizzly Bear at the Museum
Exhibit at Museum at the University of Fairbanks Museum at the University of Fairbanks Building
Jess and Matt with the Speedster and Teardrop at the Alaska Pipeline Just Outside Fairbanks, Alaska Matt with the Speedster and Teardrop at a Rest Stop
Highway Bridge Alaska Pipeline Bridge Crossing River
Speedster with Highway Bridge Speedster with Alaska Pipeline Bridge Crossing River
Speedster with Highway Bridge and Alaska Pipeline Bridge Crossing River Jess with Speedster and Teardrop
Alaska 2009

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