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BEGINS IN: FAIRBANKS, ALASKA

America's Arctic and Fairbanks' Winter Carnival

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Road Scholar
Program #7340RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Only summiting the Brooks Range. Atigun Pass is at 4643 feet. We do not spend a lot of time there.

Equipment Requirements
There will be snow and ice on the ground. You will need to have warm, well-fitting boots with good traction to fully participate in this program. Warm clothing is also very important.

Itinerary for Mar 7 — Mar 18, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
813 Noble Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4977 USA
phone: 907-456-7722
web: http://www.westmarkhotels.com/

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, television, free internet access

Facility amenities: In house restaurant and bar, free internet, continental breakfast

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $75
Participants must make their own reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Thursday, March 07 - Welcoming dinner and orientation
Afternoon: Check into hotel after 3 p.m. Earlier check in may be possible at this time of year. Call hotel the first day of the program to find out if rooms are available for early check in. Meet in the hotel lobby at 6:00pm for dinner, followed by orientation at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner in restaurant.

Evening: Welcome to the program by Road Scholar staff. IMPORTANT NOTE: WE HOPE YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE THE AURORA BOREALIS IN PERSON. WE WILL HAVE SIGN UP SHEETS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE CALLED TO GO OUT TO SEE IT NO MATTER WHAT TIME OF NIGHT IT MIGHT APPEAR. BUT THE AURORA IS A NATURAL PHENOMENON AND SIGHTINGS CANNOT BE GUARANTEED. FIRST, THE AURORA HAS TO BE HAPPENING THAT NIGHT. SECOND, THE SKY HAS TO BE CLEAR ENOUGH, WITH NO HEAVY CLOUD LAYER, TO BE ABLE TO SEE THE LIGHTS OF THE AURORA. GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGES ARE GIVING THE ALASKAN INTERIOR CLOUDIER WINTER DAYS AND NIGHTS THAN WE ARE USED TO.

Lodging: Westmark

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
813 Noble Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4977 USA
phone: 907-456-7722
web: http://www.westmarkhotels.com/

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, television, free internet access

Facility amenities: In house restaurant and bar, free internet, continental breakfast

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $75
Participants must make their own reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Friday, March 08 - International Arctic Research Center/North Americ...
International Arctic Research Center/North American Dog Sled Races/Ice Art Park

Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel breakfast room.

Morning: NOTE: This itinerary has been crafted a year ahead of time, using the best information currently available. Everything on this schedule will be covered but the sequences may change by next year. Also, as we get closer to the starting date, events in Fairbanks may be announced which we may want to participate in and these will be added to our program if possible. We begin with a Field trip to the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Class on the Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights) by Geophysical Institute professor. Class on the history of Fairbanks.

Lunch: Lunch on campus at UAF

Afternoon: Overview of North American Championship Dog Sled Race. Field trip to watch the race. For more information, look here: www.sleddog.org/

Dinner: Dinner in restaurant in hotel.

Evening: Field trip to the Ice Art Park to view the sculptures created for the World Ice Art Championship. For a preview, look here: icealaska.com

Lodging: Westmark

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
813 Noble Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4977 USA
phone: 907-456-7722
web: http://www.westmarkhotels.com/

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, television, free internet access

Facility amenities: In house restaurant and bar, free internet, continental breakfast

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $75
Participants must make their own reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Saturday, March 09 - Arctic Trip Orientation, field trip to Museum Of ...
Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel breakfast room

Morning: Field trip to the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The museum is a superb facility for a city the size of Fairbanks. Extensive collections on all facets of Alaska, with a special emphasis on America's arctic and the sub-arctic Alaskan Interior. Exhibits, films and artwork will help you learn about America's most northern part of her most northern state.

Lunch: Lunch in local restaurant

Afternoon: "Life in Fairbanks", discussion of economy, demographics, wages, costs, schools, health care, police and fire protection, and the logistics of daily living in a place with a temperature range from 99 above to 68 below.

Dinner: Dinner in restaurant

Evening: Orientation for the trip to the Arctic.

Lodging: Westmark

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
813 Noble Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4977 USA
phone: 907-456-7722
web: http://www.westmarkhotels.com/

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, television, free internet access

Facility amenities: In house restaurant and bar, free internet, continental breakfast

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $75
Participants must make their own reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Sunday, March 10 - Large Animal Research Station
Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel breakfast room.

Morning: Field trip to Large Animal Research Station on UAF campus. Researchers and/or guides will lecture on musk oxen, caribou and reindeer that live at the station.

Lunch: Lunch on campus at UAF

Afternoon: Informal visit with Native Elder(s) talking about their life.

Dinner:

Evening: There are usually theater, symphony or winter sports events held during the Fairbanks Winter Carnival. We plan to attend one of these events one evening.

Lodging: Westmark

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in a beautiful setting in the Brooks Range, the northernmost mountain range in the United States. The only hotel/restaurant between the Yukon River and the Arctic Ocean.

Contact info:
PO Box 9041
Coldfoot, AK 99701 USA
phone: 907-678-5201
web: coldfootcamp.com/index.htm

Room amenities: Very small room, expect to live out of your suitcase. No telephones in room, pay phone at desk. (So no wake-up calls-bring your alarm clock). No TVs. Small bathroom in room with shower and commode. Small closet, hooks on the walls for hanging clothes.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar in one facility. Motel type rooms across the gravel pad. There is a small lounge in the housing facility with a couch and chairs. Cable television (but not many channels). Book exchange and board games available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Monday, March 11 - Travel to Coldfoot, Alaska
Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel breakfast room.

Morning: Leave for Coldfoot, Alaska, 250 miles north of Fairbanks and 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. We travel slowly and take a number of breaks to use outhouses and stretch our legs. It takes us approximately 9-10 hours to get from Fairbanks to Coldfoot.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the road.

Afternoon: Continue driving.

Dinner: Dinner in restaurant in Coldfoot.

Evening: Coldfoot is a premier place for watching the aurora. We will have sign up sheets every evening for people who want to be woken up to see the northern lights if they are present and the night is clear.

Lodging: Slate Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in a beautiful setting in the Brooks Range, the northernmost mountain range in the United States. The only hotel/restaurant between the Yukon River and the Arctic Ocean.

Contact info:
PO Box 9041
Coldfoot, AK 99701 USA
phone: 907-678-5201
web: coldfootcamp.com/index.htm

Room amenities: Very small room, expect to live out of your suitcase. No telephones in room, pay phone at desk. (So no wake-up calls-bring your alarm clock). No TVs. Small bathroom in room with shower and commode. Small closet, hooks on the walls for hanging clothes.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar in one facility. Motel type rooms across the gravel pad. There is a small lounge in the housing facility with a couch and chairs. Cable television (but not many channels). Book exchange and board games available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Tuesday, March 12 - Historic Town of Wiseman
Breakfast: Breakfast at Coldfoot.

Morning: NOTE: Coldfoot exists because there was a need for a restaurant/hotel in the 400 mile pipeline road stretch between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. The lecturers for this portion of the program are all locals who have jobs that must be worked around to create time to talk with us. We therefore have to be prepared to be very flexible with the scheduling in Coldfoot. It is not unusual for the schedule to change daily as some people show up in Coldfoot unexpectedly, and some people, like the Alaska state trooper or the national park ranger, may be suddenly called away to do some work in another area. We will try our best to have the content we propose here, but we cannot guarantee it. In Coldfoot, we have always had a variety of lecturers. We like to give everyone who has some expertise a chance to speak with our participants. We actually now have more lecturers than we can fit into one program. So while we may not have exactly what we list here, we will have a very locally oriented program offering diversified information and interests. The vast bulk of our Coldfoot surprises have been pleasant ones. Class on the history of Coldfoot, when it was a gold rush town, then a pipeline construction camp and then the truck stop it is today.

Lunch: Lunch at Coldfoot.

Afternoon: Trip to the historic town of Wiseman, 15 miles away. Wiseman was a former gold rush town. It currently has a population of about 10 people. Visit with some of the people of Wiseman.

Dinner: Dinner at Coldfoot

Evening:

Lodging: Slate Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in a beautiful setting in the Brooks Range, the northernmost mountain range in the United States. The only hotel/restaurant between the Yukon River and the Arctic Ocean.

Contact info:
PO Box 9041
Coldfoot, AK 99701 USA
phone: 907-678-5201
web: coldfootcamp.com/index.htm

Room amenities: Very small room, expect to live out of your suitcase. No telephones in room, pay phone at desk. (So no wake-up calls-bring your alarm clock). No TVs. Small bathroom in room with shower and commode. Small closet, hooks on the walls for hanging clothes.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar in one facility. Motel type rooms across the gravel pad. There is a small lounge in the housing facility with a couch and chairs. Cable television (but not many channels). Book exchange and board games available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Wednesday, March 13 - Dog Sled Ride & Snow Shoe Hikes
Breakfast: Breakfast in Coldfoot.

Morning: Discussion on the ins and outs of running a hotel/restaurant when the closest supplier is 250 miles away. And it's 40 below. And always night time. (NOTE: WE will not be experiencing these conditions--but it's fascinating to hear about how it is up there in winter.) The Ecology of the Brooks Range.

Lunch: Lunch in coldfoot.

Afternoon: During our stay in Coldfoot, you will have a chance to ride on a dog sled. A local musher will ride with you as his dogs pull their sled along a trail. Locals will also take you on a guided hike on snow shoes through the surrounding Boreal Forest.

Dinner:

Evening: Various possibilities depending upon who's in "town" that day: perhaps discussions with a state trooper, a park ranger, a truck driver, an Alaska Department of Transportation crew boss, etc.

Lodging: Slate Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in a beautiful setting in the Brooks Range, the northernmost mountain range in the United States. The only hotel/restaurant between the Yukon River and the Arctic Ocean.

Contact info:
PO Box 9041
Coldfoot, AK 99701 USA
phone: 907-678-5201
web: coldfootcamp.com/index.htm

Room amenities: Very small room, expect to live out of your suitcase. No telephones in room, pay phone at desk. (So no wake-up calls-bring your alarm clock). No TVs. Small bathroom in room with shower and commode. Small closet, hooks on the walls for hanging clothes.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar in one facility. Motel type rooms across the gravel pad. There is a small lounge in the housing facility with a couch and chairs. Cable television (but not many channels). Book exchange and board games available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Thursday, March 14 - Arctic Safari - Brooks Range
Breakfast: Breakfast at Coldfoot.

Morning: All day Arctic Safari with experienced guides into the heart of the Brooks Range, the northernmost mountain range in Alaska. Summit Atigun Pass, the only pass through the range to allow access to the North Slope for the Dalton Highway and the Alaska oil pipeline. This is a rare opportunity to drive through and enjoy the majesty of the Arctic mountain terrain when it's wearing its beautiful, awe-inspiring, brilliantly white winter "clothes".

Lunch:

Afternoon: Continue Arctic Safari, return to Coldfoot.

Dinner: Dinner at Coldfoot.

Evening:

Lodging: Slate Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in a beautiful setting in the Brooks Range, the northernmost mountain range in the United States. The only hotel/restaurant between the Yukon River and the Arctic Ocean.

Contact info:
PO Box 9041
Coldfoot, AK 99701 USA
phone: 907-678-5201
web: coldfootcamp.com/index.htm

Room amenities: Very small room, expect to live out of your suitcase. No telephones in room, pay phone at desk. (So no wake-up calls-bring your alarm clock). No TVs. Small bathroom in room with shower and commode. Small closet, hooks on the walls for hanging clothes.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar in one facility. Motel type rooms across the gravel pad. There is a small lounge in the housing facility with a couch and chairs. Cable television (but not many channels). Book exchange and board games available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Friday, March 15 - Excursions in Coldfoot
Breakfast: Breakfast at Coldfoot

Morning: Lectures and discussions on various topics.

Lunch: Lunch at Coldfoot.

Afternoon: Walk to the site of the gold rush town of Coldfoot. There are no remains, since the buildings were "cannibalized" when the gold rush boom moved to Wiseman and Nolan. But various activity areas will be pointed out and discussed. Continue walk to site of the Coldfoot pipeline construction camp. The only thing left of the camp is the airfield which is still in use and which has a small air carrier office and airplanes on site. The "barracks" for the pipeline workers were moved to the present day Coldfoot truck stop. They have been modified and spruced up some and these are the facilities we live in while we are up there.

Dinner:

Evening: Discussion on various topics. And of course, searching the skies for the aurora.

Lodging: Slate Creek Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
813 Noble Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4977 USA
phone: 907-456-7722
web: http://www.westmarkhotels.com/

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, television, free internet access

Facility amenities: In house restaurant and bar, free internet, continental breakfast

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $75
Participants must make their own reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Ten: Saturday, March 16 - Return to Fairbanks
Breakfast: Breakfast in Coldfoot.

Morning: Depart for all day drive back to Fairbanks.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on the road.

Afternoon: Continue trip to Fairbanks.

Dinner: Since our arrival time is variable, we will plan on a pizza and salad dinner in the hotel breakfast area about 45 minutes after we arrive in town.

Evening:

Lodging: Westmark

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
813 Noble Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4977 USA
phone: 907-456-7722
web: http://www.westmarkhotels.com/

Room amenities: Microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer, television, free internet access

Facility amenities: In house restaurant and bar, free internet, continental breakfast

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $75
Participants must make their own reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Eleven: Sunday, March 17 -
Breakfast: Breakfast

Morning: Field trip to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center, a small museum devoted to the life and culture of the Athabascan people, the natives of the vast Alaskan Interior. The Alaska Public Lands Information Center is located in the facility and offers films and presentations on Alaska's public lands.

Lunch: Lunch on own at the Fairbanks Winter Carnival. Get money from Road Scholar coordinator.

Afternoon: Free time. Suggestions: The Fairbanks Winter Carnival is on this weekend, taking place right outside the back door of the hotel. Fur sales, food booths and the downtown start of the Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race are all part of the Carnival. Join the people of Fairbanks as we celebrate Spring Equinox and the return of the sun to us.

Dinner: Dinner in hotel restaurant.

Evening: Closing ceremony and fond farewells.

Lodging: Westmark

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Twelve: Monday, March 18 - Program ends after breakfast
Breakfast: Breakfast runs from 6:00 am to 9:00 am weekdays, 7:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday and Sunday. The program ends after breakfast. Check out time is noon.

Morning: The program ends after breakfast. Check out time is noon.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Fairbanks, AK
Fairbanks Visitors and Convention BureauPhone: 800-327-5774
For additional information, visit: www.explorefairbanks.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Mar 7 — Mar 18, 2013 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
15 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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