Mar 5, 2006, part A. Fairbanks & North Pole. (900w)
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After a late night of watching the Northern Lights at the Aurora Cabin, we left the hotel this morning rather late - past 11 am. On the way to lunch (China 1 Buffet), we stopped by Walmart. It was like any other Walmart except the parking lot had electric outlets for cars that were going to park for a few hours. These provides electric heat to the engines so the oil won't freeze. I noticed that the windshields of more than half of the cars were cracked. It's probably from the difference of temperature between the heated insides and the extremely cold outside air & metal of the car. After Walmart, we went to North Pole, Alaska. This is just outside of Fairbanks and home to the Santa Claus House. There were two reindeers in addition to several huge Santa Clauses, Candy Canes, and a nice shop with various Christmas-related gifts. After that, we went to downtown Fairbanks and just browsed the local stores. The streets were really quiet!
Westmark hotel in Fairbanks
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Westmark hotel in Fairbanks
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Filling up on water before leaving the hotel for the day
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Parking lot of Walmart and basically everywhere - each parking stall has electric outlets for cars to plug into.
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Each parking stall has electric outlets for cars to plug into to prevent oil from freezing up.
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Nevermind shoveling the parking lot clean of snow.
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This truck sports an antique license plate. Did you notice the icicles?
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Plug in to stay warm!
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Plug in to stay warm!
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Plug in to stay warm!
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Plug in to stay warm!
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Plug in to stay warm!
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Almost every other car's windshield were cracked - probably from the temperature variances
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Almost every other car's windshield were cracked - probably from the temperature variances
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This pile of snow in the parking lot towers at least 10 feet!
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Having lunch at China 1 Buffet - our dining room for some 6 meals over the next few days.
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Just outside of Fairbanks is the city of North Pole.
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Just outside of Fairbanks is the city of North Pole.
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Just outside of Fairbanks is the city of North Pole.
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Just outside of Fairbanks is the city of North Pole.
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Just outside of Fairbanks is the city of North Pole.
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Just outside of Fairbanks is the city of North Pole.
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In the town of North Pole is the Santa Claus House.
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Could this be the real Santa?
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Could this be the real Santa?
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The Santa Claus House, in North Pole, Alaska
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The Santa Claus House, in North Pole, Alaska
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A couple of reindeers taking a break while waiting for Santa to return.
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This is either Dasher or Blitzen.
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This is either Dasher or Blitzen.
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This is either Dasher or Blitzen.
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Dasher and Blitzen.
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The Santa Claus House, in North Pole, Alaska
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Inside the Santa Claus House
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I'm a bit too little to be Santa Claus, but I'll do my best.
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I'm a bit too little to be Santa Claus, but I'll do my best.
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Letters from all over the world to Santa.
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Letters from all over the world to Santa.
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Letters from all over the world to Santa.
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The Santa Claus House, in North Pole, Alaska
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The Santa Claus House, in North Pole, Alaska
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Alaskan Birch
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The Raven is a sacred bird of the natives.
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Chena river
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Downtown Fairbanks
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Downtown Fairbanks
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Downtown Fairbanks
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Downtown Fairbanks
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Downtown Fairbanks
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Downtown Fairbanks - the Ulu, sold in many of Alaska's shops.
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Downtown Fairbanks - store with local appeal
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Downtown Fairbanks - those are Moose antlers.
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Downtown Fairbanks
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It's a little easier to get custom plates - Alaska's population is only about 660,000.
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Downtown Fairbanks - another local shop.
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