We left Fairbanks after getting Della's thyroid med's. Sam's Club FAILED, but with Tumbleweed and Mt McKinley Vet hospital they stepped up to the plate and we received the meds by 11:30. By 12 noon, we were at the Holiday Fuel station getting 26 gallons of Diesel (with a $5, saving) and taking on-board 10.5 gallons of propane for $2.99, awesome.
We hooked up and got on the road by 12:35 and headed south on Parks Highway. Our reservation in Denali is not until the 17th, so we have a few days to kill, so we drove at about an average of about 50 mph. We're in no hurry, so we took it slow and easy. While we were traveling, Susan read about this City Park in Anderson. Anderson is about 80 miles south of Fairbanks and 50 miles from Denali, so this seems to be a good place to sit quite for the 2 days. We made the turn around 3 pm and promptly stopped for a photo op but without Della or Tilly:
Continued on down the road for about 6 miles, came into the town. The first thing we notice was a sign showing "ICP". Now what does ICP mean and why is it here of all places? First, ICP stands for Incident Command Post, and is the command center for forest fires. Why is it here? Because of the Fish Fire, which is located about 35 miles east of Anderson. Along with the ICP, is a contingent of about 230 fire fighters. They work the fire about 12 hours a day. They are either bused in or some will be helicopter in. Once back, it is time for dinner and bed. So as you can see there has to be over 200 small tents all over the place that we can see and places where we cannot.
Once thru town we located the dump, took on a little bit of water, drove on into the campground and pulled into a nice spot. We were setup and done within 15 minutes. Now comes the fun part, remember we have a Winegard Trav'ler Automatic Satellite antenna which is connected to Dish. Well we have to remember this far north and west, the satellites are down near the horizon (14 degrees). So it was time to try the Winegard again. While we were in Fairbanks we had no signal, due to the Elks Lodge building next to us. So this time we have a clear sight of the horizon, and I switch to manual search, and set it for satellite 119.
Notice the Antenna is almost vertical.
Well after 15 minutes, it locked onto satellite 119, and next thing we know we have satellite and watching Fairbanks local channels. Amazing what technology can do for you. Next on the list is to go online with Dish support and have our service address changed to an Anchorage address.. Got online requested and 15 minutes later……..NO CHANGE, what happen? Well back to the online chat and request it again. Yep we now have Anchorage Locals and DISH network channels. We are all setup and in the camping mode.
By the way, close to Anderson is Clear Air Force Base, this base is on the Defense Early Warning System line.
Except from the Website
They are able to detect and track both intercontinental and sea-launched missile threats. Early warning and attack characterization data is sent to the United States' Missile Warning and Space Control Centers, the U.S. National Military Command Center and U.S. Strategic Command. Satellite tracking data is sent to the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) for processing.
Three systems have been modified to Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) status. They are located at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Thule Air Force Base, Greenland and Fylingdales, England. The Fylingdales system is operated by the British Royal Air Force. The UEWR systems have a co-primary mission to provide missile tracking data to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) GMD Fire Control Center (GFC/C).
The other two systems are located at Cape Cod Air Force Station, Mass., and Clear Air Force Base, Alaska. "
At about 9 pm 2 rigs rolled into the campground, just at the same time a very large complete rainbow appeared, Susan managed to capture a couple of shots, begin and end.
Thursday (July 16th) awoke bright and early listening to the buses loading and leaving with the fire fighters for the day. Next thing I notice was the sun was hiding behind some clouds. Weather forecast was windy and good chance of rain later, followed by rain tomorrow. So what do you do with a forecast like that? ROAD TRIP.
Ok, another item I am looking for is Willow trees. Willow trees grow near a river of lake and guess what? There is a river within ¼ mile of Anderson and our campground spot. So be on the lookout for The Diamond Willow Tree.
By the way, a few shots of what we found in the Area:
One of the things you may see is bark removed from a Birch Tree:
People do this when making something from the bark.