Not only are we the Last Frontier, we may be unarguably the last great escape.
Think about it; Alaska is the epitome of the great outdoors. Wild, unexplored open spaces. Endless miles of wilderness, untold rivers and streams, glaciers, mountains, and forests. Even the highways wind through hundreds of miles with often nary a passing car or two.
In a socially distanced world, where else would one go?
This time of year, we enjoy rugged dog sled races, spectacular aurora viewing, and beautiful ice carving.
You can experience dog mushing in a variety of ways. There are local individuals that frequent the Dog Musher’s Field on Farmer’s Loop Road who may be able to offer you a ride in one of their sleds. Alaskans are notorious for their friendliness and even if you choose to just watch the fun and activity, you will learn plenty.
Another way to take part in dog mushing is to come for some of the bigger events—for example, the Yukon Quest or Iditarod are two of the most popular. Many people “follow” the team of their choice along parts of the trail by road systems so they can cheer them on. Plan your visit during these times. You can check with http://www.explorefairbanks.com for more specific information.
Yet another option is to book a tour to one of the local sled dog venues; there are many to choose from and you can again, check out the visitor’s center’s website to select a business that specializes in taking you to the great outdoors for the ride of your life.
If dogs are not your thing, the Ice Alaska International Ice Carving Competition just began this week. The ice park is at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds, halfway between the downtown area and the University westside. Some people choose to come early and watch the making of the sculptures; others wait so they can enjoy the finished product of approximately 50 different ice carvings. Oh, and don’t forget to bring the family; there are ice slides, skating rinks, and great photo ops for everyone.
For many people from around the world, viewing the Northern Lights is on their bucket list. This time of year seems to be accommodating due to a little warmer weather, as well as the above mentioned options for daytime activity. Clear skies, higher aurora Kp levels (check out http://www.gi.alaska.edu/monitors/aurora-forecast for specific information) and low light interference make for great aurora viewing. If you choose not to ventures to hills, there are many “aurora chasers” who delight in seeking great viewing opportunities.
Go ahead and treat yourself to explore our Great Land.