Eventually, the smoke caught up with us and we kept rolling north. All the way to the North Pole. Well, the town with that name, anyway.
Years ago, someone bought this town and re-named it North Pole in an attempt to lure toy manufacturers. Well, that didn’t work, but the other businesses in town latched onto the theme. Lots of Mistletoe Muffler type of places.
The biggest attraction in town is a Christmas store. It was a June day, 84 degrees outside and we were suddenly in Santa’s Workshop, North Pole. A bit surreal. By the way, watch out for Santa – he was a little creepy.
Just 20 miles are so north of North Pole, is Fairbanks. Fairbanks is physically located in the center of interior Alaska, but it is the northernmost, drivable city in North America. There are many small villages and towns north of here, but only a few can be reached by road, and none are as big. We certainly weren’t expecting the desert dryness and high temperatures. Or the smoke.
We checked out Pioneer Park, a theme park with small museums and a potential camping spot. But the heat made asphalt parking lot camping an unbearable thought and we found a wooded municipal park instead.
There, we caught back up with Adv-o-DNA‘s Dave, Ann, Wynn and Mae. Lots of great hang out time.