Day 50: Celebrating Independence Day in North Pole, Alaska

Day 50: Thursday, July 4, 2013

What better way to spend the 4th of July than going to a parade?

We parked at the visitor’s center and talked to the woman working there for a while. She moved to North Pole from Georgia three years ago! It is amazing how many people from Georgia we have met. One of the driver’s in the parade saw our Georgia hats and hollered “Go Dawgs!” as he went by.

The parade was small and fun.

It was a great way to celebrate the 4th of July. We grilled hamburgers for dinner and visited with our friends Ted and Ruth Ann after their trip up to Deadhorse and Coldfoot.

If you are paying attention and wonder what happened on Day 49 yesterday, the answer is laundry and getting the work on the truck finished.

Our next stop, Denali!

Day 45: A visit with Santa Claus

Day 45: Saturday, June 29, 2013

My reward for cleaning all the dirt and dust from the camper was to go see Santa Claus and North Pole, Alaska.

Country Cafe, our second Diners, Drive Ins and Dives stop
Country Cafe, our second Diners, Drive Ins and Dives stop

Lunch at another restaurant from Diners, Dive Ins and Dives was next. Henry had a Bulgogi sandwich at the Country Cafe. It was like a Korean version of a Philly Cheese Steak.

Day 44: Taking care of business

Day 44: Friday, June 28, 2013

Today was a much needed shopping and work day for both of us. With a list that filled up an entire page in my notebook, we set out to find a new latch for the screen door, a new door handle for the bathroom door, and groceries. Two RV supply stores and a home improvement store later, we had the latch and door handle. A Walmart in Fairbanks had everything else we needed.

After unloading the truck back at the RV park, Henry took the truck to get the oil changed, a front end alignment, and have the ABS system checked out. It started beeping during our trip across the Top of the Road Highway and has been beeping off and on ever since. I did laundry.

Our reward for all our hard work? A visit to one of the restaurants featured in a Christmas special on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. I studied the descriptions of all six restaurants Guy Fieri visited and we decided to try the Elf’s Den which is located in North Pole. The menu sounded perfect – pizza, pasta and calzones are their specialty.

The parking lot is on the side of the building and we entered through the lounge area. We thought the restaurant must fit into the Dives category when we stepped down into a dark pool room. We were pleasantly surprised to find a very nice dining room with table cloths and the waitresses in black and white uniforms. We discovered the restaurant entrance when we left.

We had decided to split the Elf’s Special Calzone. Before we ordered, Henry asked the waitress what Guy Fieri had tried. That was what he chose so we knew it must be good. And it was delicious. And huge, too. We ate what we could and took the rest home.

Day 43: Going to North Pole

Day 43: Thursday, June 27, 2013. Tok, Alaska to North Pole, Alaska. Riverview RV Park Site 123. 200 miles traveled.

Despite the smoke from forest fires covering the road for much of the day, it was a good driving day on paved, mostly flat roads all day.

We had our first view of the Alaska Pipeline at the Tanana River.

A nice rest area along the shore of Birch Lake was a perfect place to stop for lunch.

Twenty-six miles south of Fairbanks the highway passes through Eielson Air Force Base. Signs posted announce no stopping and no photography. Seeing the runway beside the highway took me back to my childhood growing up as an Air Force brat.

I apologize for three posts at once. I am almost up to date!