Day 3 – North Pole and a Giant Tube of Oil
Jim’s North Pole, Alaska Christmas Birthday
After the previous day’s flight-seeing induced puke-fest we were in dire need of comfort, so we spent the day indulging in one of our favorite travel hobbies: weird small towns!
We drove some 200 miles north through Fairbanks and straight into North Pole, Alaska where we were promptly eaten by a gigantic Santa.
Here’s a funny story: My birthday is December 14th, so Christmas and my birthday are almost a package deal. Jim’s birthday is July 5th, he doesn’t associate his birthday Christmas. Well, we fixed that. Behold, CHRISTMAS ON JULY 5th!
We loved North Pole’s reindeer pen. The reindeer walk up close to the fence, giving everyone a great view of their fuzzy antlers and patchy fur. (Plz no one tell them how much I love eating reindeer sausage :P)
We also loved the hand-painted tiles all over the Santa Claus house (and tried our best to replicate the slightly awkward kissing Clauses).
One more thing before we depart North Pole. Here’s our obligatory photo of our well-traveled Wy at the furthest north he’s ever been:
Thanks, North Pole, Alaska – you were a riot! (For anyone wondering, we spent about 2 hours here total, and that was plenty of time to see everything.)
On the way back we stopped at the Trans-Alaska Pipeline near Fairbanks, which is all exposed and stuff so you can just walk right up to it and pretend to hug it, which is exactly what we did.
We geeked out about the pipeline for nearly an hour, which is about 50 minutes longer than other visitors hung out. If you like massive engineering projects, you’d love this thing. It’s built to withstand buckling and earthquakes, and it has shipped nearly 16 billion barrels of oil in its 33-some years. Oh, look at me science-ing while there’s talking to do…
The Drive Back
… was uneventful, except for when we stopped at Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn. We had high expectations after seeing their humping bears sign (Alaska is full of weird shit), but it’s just a bar with some barely R-rated sex toys and crude T-shirts for sale.
The drive back was also insanely scenic (Alaska is insanely scenic).
Sadly, our brief time in Alaska is almost over. Tomorrow (here in Part 4) we’ll drive back to Anchorage for an overnight stay before flying back to Seattle on Sunday morning.