My Alaskan Adventure {part 3-Denali!}

THIS! This is what I got to see from the air! Do you know what this is? And do you know that it’s not often that a visitor gets to see the mountain “out”? I kept scanning around to see if I would be able to tell. And yes, I could. At more than 20,000 ft, Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) is the tallest mountain in North America. The view from the small plane was really stunning. Mountains as far as I could see in all directions and then it leveled out to flatter, browner land. Wait. Did I mention how small the plane was?  A prop plane. The Sonlight team was traveling by car. You can read about their trip on Karla’s blog {link here}.

On Sunday, we drove up to see the Alaska Pipeline. There was a small stream where we parked that was still iced over in places with the most interesting kind of ice! It reminded me of the movie Frozen’s song “Let It Go” where Elsa sings “…frozen fractals all around.” It really was amazing. I kept playing in the ice although it was freezing my hand! Then I read a bit about the pipeline and learned about ‘pigs’ and the fact that the temperature of the oil rushing though the pipe is about 100 degrees F due to friction. Because of this, the pipeline is above ground so not as to melt the permafrost, which would cause the ground to become unstable.This is a pig that keeps the oil flowing and moves with the oil. They are retrieved at pump stations.
 And this is a retired cleaning pig that cleaned the wax buildup that would form before the oil reached the higher temps.  Below is a selfie with the pipe so you can see just how big it is. Did you know that it runs about 800 miles across the state?We think we were about mile 450. That must be a mile marker, right?After the Pipeline, we drove to the Chena Hot Springs Resort, a beautiful drive through the Chena State Park where we saw people camping and fishing on the Chena River. The resort was very interesting, not like any kind of resort I’d been to before.I love this sign. We don’t have any “no snowmobiles” signs in Florida. Gator crossing signs, yes. These, no.Relics of the gold rush days were everywhere in this area. The ‘scoops’ especially. One house had them as a planter. We had lunch in the rustic lodge dining room. The tables were these amazing pieces of trees. Just HUGE! I had a yummy salad with pears, apples, walnuts and chicken on it. Not typical Alaskan food but very tasty nonetheless.We walked around and found the springs. It looked very inviting but we passed on getting in. However we did dip our fingers into this overflow and the water was quite warm! In fact we read that the temperature is about 156 degrees F when it comes out of the ground so they have to mix it with the cold snow-melt from a nearby stream to make it cool enough so it won’t scald you. I bet this is a really fun thing to do when the ground is covered in snow and the air temps are COLD!You can see that there are still some patches of snow (turned to ice) on the ground in the background so it was still pretty chilly out, for this Florida girl anyway! Another interesting thing they had, although we couldn’t see them very well, was a pen of reindeer. That’s a white one way back in the trees.We had a pleasant day exploring the area. Fairbanks is interesting, but I’m not quite ready to move. I’m too much of a beach girl! {*wink*}

For more pictures and a different perspective on the area, read my friend Karla’s post. {link here}

About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

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