Friday, June 24, 2011

North Pole

So when Mac and Steve are still lying under the VW kombie, and Susan is at work what could Heather and I do? Yes - we went to North Pole to see Santa.

Susan tells me North Pole was first started by a Christian group, and there certainly are a lot of churches there. I now quote from the postcard I bought: In the early 1950's Con and Nellie Miller, new to Alaska's interior, began a small trading business to the visitors. Donning an old Santa suit, Con earned celebrity status as Santa Claus in the eyes of the village children. In 1952, as the Millers began building a trading post in the new settlement of North Pole, thirteen miles from Fairbanks, some of their you friends called out, "Hey, Santa Claus, are you building a new house?" The name caught on and Santa Claus House was born."

Like everywhere else in the world, North Pole has a McDonalds, but here the pole that holds the golden M is a candy cane pole - as are the street lights.

 I guess Santa is getting on a bit!

 Almost as tacky as Ohakune's carrot.

 Moulting reindeer - well, it is summer.

Heather outside Santa's house.

If you want to write to Santa at North Pole, this is the full address.

The man himself.

Even Santa needs a coffee break.

See - there's me!

And Heather.

For the disabled, a special parking sign.

North Pole Post Office, where I posted my post cards.

Can't Go to Alaska Without Seeing.....

The oil pipeline:

And a baseball game - in this case the solstice Midnight Sun game. It started at 10.30pm and got rained out at 1.30am (which is close to 'real' midnight.)

This last photo was taken at 1.05am shortly before the rain cane and the game was stopped in the ninth innings. It was finished the next day, but sadly the local team lost to the team from California.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum

Cool museum. History, stuffed animals (which I don't usually like but, hey, they are different animals), fossils.

Obligatory standing-by bear (definitely better to do with a stuffed one!) photo.

These are amazing - some so fine you'd swear they could hold water.

Those prehistoric animals are seriously scary even as fossils!

Plus awesome art:

These ravens are made of reinforcing rod and nails very cool - and, because I deleted a whole bunch of photos, are the only photos I have of ravens.

I've been wanting a composting toilet, and this would be the perfect outhouse to house it in!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Midnight Sun Run

Lots happens in mid summer here - the sun dips below the horizon for just a little over two hours and that makes for a couple of hours of early dusk / late dawn - it's really completely light still. One of the happenings is the 10 mile Midnight Sun Run, which features both serious runners and fun runners and starts at 10.30pm.