Welcome to the Tanana Valley, wherein lies Fairbanks, Alaska. The above photo shows the Tanana River during deep winter 2002, with a bit of open water causing ice fog.
This is where I live.
Fairbanks is located just about smack dab in the center of the state, in the Interior. It is hundreds of miles from the ocean, and temperatures vary from 100°F in the summer to as low as -65°F in the winter.
This site is under construction, and not all the links have content yet. Keep checking back, as I add stuff on a weekly basis.
|Most people know little about the state of Alaska.
Here are some facts:
Alaska is the largest state in the USA. It is about three times the size of Texas. Sorry, Texans.
Throughout the year, the amount of light we have in Fairbanks changes dramatically, but it's not like God switches off the light bulb in September and turns it on in March. It's a little more subtle than that.
From December 21, the shortest day of the year, the days get longer, first at increments of several seconds, and the up to 7 minutes per day. By June 21 the sun rises around midnight, and sets about 2am, and after that the days get shorter. In summer it never really gets all the way dark, because in between the rising and setting it's still light, which means we don't have fireworks on the 4th of July! There is a big Midnight Sun festival here in June, and many folks drive to a high spot to watch the sun circle the sky.
By the time we reach the winter solstice, the sun comes up around 11am and sets around 2pm. The Solstice parties here are celebrated with gusto, because the return of the sun really means a lot to folks up here.
For a great graph on sunlight in the Fairbanks area, go to
We do not live in igloos.
You can find out much about Alaska by visiting this link, which goes to the Alaska Climate Research Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
There are two seasons in Alaska: Winter and Construction.
My freezer is my front entryway during the winter.
There is no adequate way to describe the aurora borealis, also called the Northern Lights. But this page <click here> has some of the best pictures of it. Realize that you just have to BE right under it to really appreciate it. Here is a link to an animation of a neat aurora, but you better have DSL to see it. The rest of this site is fascinating, click HERE.
The Alaska Rail Road is the only flag-stop passenger train left in the world. Folks living out in the bush can flag down the train and get on! If you visit, you must ride this train from Anchorage to Fairbanks, (it's gorgeous, goes by Denali, aka Mt. McKinley), and doing so cuts down on airfare, since you fly in and out of Anchorage instead of Fairbanks.
The summer mosquitos aren't as bad as you think. At least, not in town. Though I have remarked that I have red and BLACK hair in the summer, due to all the smashed mosquitoes in it. Go into the bush though and you better wear netting.
When there is a lot of ice crystal in the air, lights will shoot straight up in a laserlike fashion. It's wild when driving in the dark, to see two columns of lights moving above the trees, moving toward you! Then you realize it's a car coming toward you in the other lane.
Moose are EVERYWHERE! Not just in the country, but in the city, too. Even in Anchorage. In your front yard, at the University of Alaska, right next to your kitchen window, looking in with their goofy moose faces.
|There was a 7.9 earthquake in November of 2002 near Fairbanks and not one single person was killed, or even seriously injured. The only injury reported was a woman who fell down while exiting her cabin. She broke her arm. The main damage was to roads. This is the Tok Cut-Off road. It moved a wee bit, eh?|
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