Day 36. Tuesday 4th June. Denali to East of Fairbanks.

What a flee pit of a camp site!!  A commercial site. Disgraceful. 

Never mind, we are again on the road early at 11am!!..:) I think the cabin is way too comfortable for early starts. We set the alarm and go straight back to sleep. 

It’s a promising looking day. Nice to get out of the shadows of the trees we were camped in. Pumped up the tyres, all a bit low. 

Our site for tonight couldn’t be more different. It’s a state controlled site with mown areas amongst trees and at 8.30 the sun is just dipping below the tree line. $15 and not another sole in sight. Bliss.

The drive from this mornings camp to Fairbanks, about 180miles was fairly mundane. A lunch stop beside the Chena river in the centre of Fairbanks at about 1.30pm was shared with a half a dozen of the city’s lesser skilled but despite the smell of pot, they were pretty relaxed. Mmmm. It’s a lovely setting. Seating provided on a paved area which was created with community involvement. 

Harding Lke Campsite. 6pm

Founded in 1901, Fairbanks like many other Alaskan population centres, owes it’s settlement to gold prospectors. It’s now a large city, area wise.  The CBD is ageing but well kept. There is civic pride here, the first evidence since arriving in Alaska, to my mind.  John, one of the lunch time party nearby, introduced himself and told us that the population is approx. 70,000. Nearly double that stated by Lonely Planet and more believable. There is no wifi signal here tonight where we are camped, 46miles south east.

One of the satellite suburbs or towns is called North Pole and Santa’s House is close to the main road, bedecked with bunting and fairy lights. One can imagine children’s letters to Santa from all over the world, to express their wishes for Christmas presents, ending up here in the North Pole. How sweet..:)

We have given up on mobile broadband. A monthly contract with Rogers was a disaster. C$109 for 5gig of data and it lasted about four days, with pitiful performance. It took me two hours nearly this afternoon and the third time over the last week on Chat, to cancel the contract. They are quick to sign but reluctant to release you. Mind you, a contract under slightly better terms with AT&T at US$60 for 8 gig didn’t last much longer, but far better people to deal with.  We don’t know how lucky we are in NZ! Our future broadband will be supplied from a big grocer like Fred Meyer or similar, from the carpark, free.  A little bit of quid-pro-quo for our custom. 

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