We left our cabin on the river and headed for Fairbanks and family. My cousin Jason and his wife Jennifer live in Fairbanks, stationed there with the Air Force.
They were working that day, so we spent the afternoon at our leisure driving around town, then checking out the University of Fairbanks Museum. A 9 foot stuffed grizzly greeted us at the door, and there were plenty of dead, stuffed animals inside. The displays were very educational though, and several exhibits allowed you to touch pelts, wooly mammoth bones and the like.
We met Jason and Jennifer for dinner. They looked great, and seemed happy. They seemed well-adjusted to life just 80 miles below the Arctic Circle. I was a little cold in my jacket, and Jennifer was wearing a sleeveless top.
We spent that evening chatting in their home in North Pole. It’s not THE North Pole, it’s just a few miles outside of Fairbanks, but it is where so many of those Santa Claus letters end up every year. One of Jason’s neighbors even legally changed his name to Kris Kringle and is said to look just like jolly old St. Nick.
After draping a dark blanket over the window to block the sun, Lee and I caught some sleep before our exceedingly long trip home.