Another day while the men were away fishing, Heather, Susan, and I drove to the top of a hill, the Ester Dome, which is capped by the satellite dishes and aerials serving Fairbanks. It was stunning, and made real the knowledge of how vast yet how unpopulated Alaska is.
New Zealand has an area of 268680 km2 (103737 square miles) while Alaska's area is 1518800 km2 (586412square miles) yet New Zealand's population is around 4.4 million and Alaska's is about 710,000.
We then went on to Creamer's Field for a walk through the Migratory Waterfowl Wildlife Refuge. Originally it was a dairy farm,but competition from the lower 48 states forced it out of business in the 1960's.
Sand Hill Cranes
Ice forming in the ground in winter, then melting, makes the ground less than supportive! Trees fall, houses sag in the middle - if foundations aren't built correctly, permafrost melts from the warmth of the houses - which don't have to have building permits etc. (Sadly, the saggy house photos were amongst those I accidentally deleted.)
Native wild roses
native wild iris
Susan and I also visited the local Farmer's market where we met up with Rebecca, whose husband Ray was away fishing with Steve and Mac.
Rebecca and Cally (photo by Susan)