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On the Road: Interior Alaska — Life at Latitude 65 North

Program Number: 14205RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/5/2014 - 9/16/2014;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Price starting at: $3,375.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; Natural History; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 30; 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Explore landscapes of awesome grandeur and beauty in Fairbanks, Nome and Denali National Park. Learn how the environment shapes the lives of the people of Latitude 65 North, from the ancient Native cultures to 20th-century immigrants. Study Alaskan history and the flora, fauna and resources of the Interior and the Bering Sea coast.




Highlights

• Journey over 1,000 miles to experience the complex ecological diversity of the vast Alaskan Interior.
• Meet with members of two of Alaska’s indigenous groups, the Athabascans and the Inupiat (Eskimo).
• Fairbanks field trips include the Large Animal Research Station, home of musk-oxen and caribou, and a field trip to the world famous trans-Alaska pipeline.



Activity Particulars

Walking a few blocks on level terrain; some stairs.



Itinerary Summary

Fairbanks, 2 nights; Denali National Park, 2 nights; Fairbanks, 2 nights; fly to Nome through Anchorage, 4 nights; return to Anchorage, 1 night.



Coordinated by Denakkanaaga.




Denali National Park

Established in 1917, this 6 million-acre wilderness is home to 20,320 foot Mount McKinley, and wildlife such as moose, caribou, Dall sheep and grizzly bear, and is considered one of the most intact sub-arctic ecosystems in the world.



Anchorage

Situated between boreal forest, tundra, temperate rainforest and a marine environment, Anchorage was established when the Alaska Railroad was constructed to connect the interior with the coast. The area is home to almost half the state’s population. 



Nome

 A gold rush town located on the southern Seward peninsula coast on the Bering Sea, Nome was once the most populous city in Alaska. In 1925 a diphtheria epidemic threatened Nome’s Inuit population, and a dog-sled relay was created to deliver the life-saving serum. The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this historic event.



Fairbanks

The indigenous Athabaskan tribe had fished in the local area for centuries before it was settled in 1903 as a trading post for riverboats and gold prospectors. Fairbanks today is an important player in interior Alaska’s oil fields and pipelines.



Accommodations
Fairbanks: Modern hotel. Denali: Modular cabin complex near entrance to National Park. Nome: Historic hotel near Iditarod finish line. Anchorage: Comfortable hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Springhill Suites
  Fairbanks, AK 3 nights
   Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
  Denali National Park Area 2 nights
   Springhill Suites
  Fairbanks, AK 1 night
   Nome Nugget Inn
  Nome, AK 4 nights
   Anchorage Ramada Inn
  Anchorage, Alaska 2 nights
 Springhill Suites
Type: Hotel
  Description: In Fairbanks we are staying in one of the newest and fanciest hotels in town. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Fairbanks overlooking the banks of the Chena River. Shops, museums, restaurants, small museums and historical sites are all within easy walking distance. .
  Contact info: 575 First Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99701 USA
phone: 907-451-6552
web: marriott.com/property/propertypage/FAISH
  Room amenities: All rooms are suites. Queen beds or better. Sofa, armchair, desk, mini-fridge, coffee maker, hair dryer, ironing board, television with cable, desk, and free high-speed internet access are available. Our contract does not call for daily maid service.
  Facility amenities: 24 hour coffee/hot water available. Small pool and jacuzzi. Workout room. Snack machines. Restaurant on premises, but only open after 5 p.m.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: About $160 per room per night. You must call the hotel yourself to arrange extra nights. This is a special rate, so use this reservation phone number: 907-273-3720. The 800 number is NOT set up to allow this rate. Be sure to tell them that you are with Road Scholar when you call.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Hotel located in a wooded area on the banks of the Nenana River right outside the southern boundary of Denali National Park
  Contact info: Mile 231.1 Parks Highway
Denali Park, AK 99755 USA
phone: 907-683-2696
web: http://www.denaligrizzlybear.com
  Room amenities: Rooms are furnished with in-room coffee, WiFi, cable TV, hair dryers, two double beds, full bathroom, and alarm clocks. ADA approved handicap accessible room
  Facility amenities: Small store on premises
  Smoking allowed: No

 Nome Nugget Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Nome and at the end point of the world famous Iditarod Trail. The Nome Nugget Inn is a rustic, traditional Alaskan hotel.
  Contact info: PO Box 1470
Nome, AK 99672 USA
phone: 907-443-4189
  Room amenities: Small room. Expect to live out of your suitcase. Television with limited cable. Phone.
  Facility amenities: Fax, copier, laundry, lounge, free parking, tanning facility
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Anchorage Ramada Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Excellent location in downtown Anchorage
  Contact info: 115 E. Third Street
Anchorage, AK 99501 USA
phone: 907-272-7561
web: www.alaskaramada.com/
  Room amenities: Television, wireless internet access, fitness center.
  Facility amenities: Fitness center, business center, internet.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Approximately $80 You must call the hotel yourself to arrange stay overs after the program ends.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in after 3:00pm You will be staying at Springhill Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. You will be staying at Anchorage Ramada Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Denakkanaaga requires signing a waiver to participate in our programs.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Fairbanks, AK
  Nearest city or town:  Anchorage, AK (365 miles)
  Nearest highway: Parks Highway
  Nearest airport:  Fairbanks International
  From End of Program
  Location:  Anchorage, Alaska
  Nearest highway: Seward, Parks, Glen Highways
  Nearest airport:  Anchorage International
Travel Details
 

Anchorage

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Ramada Inn Shuttle
phone: 907-272-7561
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15-25 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

About 7 miles

   

This program starts in Fairbanks at the Springhill Suites but ends in Anchorage at the Ramada Inn. In both Fairbanks and Anchorage, the hotels also provide free transfers to/from the Alaska Railroad Station. In Anchorage the station is about 1/4 mile down a steep hill from the hotel. In Fairbanks, it is about two miles away.

 

Fairbanks

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Springhill Suites Shuttle
phone: 907-451-6552

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes or so 

 

Distance:

 

About 3 miles

   

This program starts in Fairbanks at the Springhill Suites but ends in Anchorage at the Ramada Inn. In both Fairbanks and Anchorage, the hotels also provide free transfers to/from the Alaska Railroad Station. In Anchorage the station is about 1/4 mile down a steep hill from the hotel. In Fairbanks, it is about two miles away.

 
Driving Directions
  Anchorage Airport (ANC) Call hotel for free shuttle service. If driving yourself: Leave the airport, taking International Airport Road to Minnesota Downtown Exit. Minnesota to 6th Ave., turn right on 6th Ave and left on Cordova to 3rd Ave, left on 3rd Ave hotel is on right.
  Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) Call hotel for free shuttle service. If driving yourself: There is one exit from the airport, unto Airport Road. Take Airport Road about 4 miles east to Cushman Street. Take a left at Cushman and drive north to First Avenue. The hotel is at the corner of Cushman and First. At First Avenue, take a right and drive into the hotel parking lot.
Equipment Requirements: Comfortable walking shoes or light boots with good traction. Rain gear very handy to have, especially for Nome.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check in 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.
(Friday, September 5)
   
 Afternoon: The hotel is in an excellent location, right in the heart of downtown Fairbanks. Check in begins after 3 p.m. If you arrive before 3:00 p.m., the hotel will hold your luggage in their storage room for you, so you can drop it off and then be free to explore downtown. Since Fairbanks is far away from pretty much anywhere, we strongly suggest that people fly up a day early if at all possible to help get over any potential jet-lag before the program starts. The hotel offers us a special rate for early arrivals. Full information will be available after you enroll.
 Dinner: Meet in lobby around 5:45 pm for dinner.
 Evening: Orientation around 7:30 pm at hotel
   
Accommodations: Springhill Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Class on the Aurora Borealis and field trips to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station and the University of Alaska Museum of the North
(Saturday, September 6)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: We begin with a field trip to the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center for a class on the fabled Northern Lights, the beautiful and awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis. Learn about the science that creates them, along with the history of the various mythologies different cultures created to explain this nigh time celestial mystery. Find out what creates the Aurora and why Fairbanks is such a an excellent location for viewing it, WEATHER AND SKY CONDITIONS PERMITTING. The Aurora has had a hold on the imagination of people since ancient times. And it continues today-even when we’re pretty sure we’ve figured out the scientific reality that creates them. Field trip to the Large Animal Research Station. The research station is a branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology. Studies of the large ungulates of the Arctic, the musk-oxen, caribou and reindeer, have been ongoing for decades. A researcher or station guide will talk about the biology of the animals and the ecosystems they inhabit. A strong focus is on the different adaptations that the species have made to the same environment. Life cycles and survival strategies will be explained. Pelts, skulls, antlers and horns will be available for hands-on examination and study. One of the highlights of this field trip is the opportunity to see and learn about the musk-oxen. In the same way that seeing giraffes and zebras in the wild indicates you are in Africa, the musk ox is an iconic emblem of the Arctic-you could see bears, wolves and whales in their natural habitats in many other places in the world, but if you want to see musk-oxen in their natural habitat, you must travel to the far north. (Or at least the sub-arctic).
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Field trip to the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The museum building is an architectural gem housing an outstanding educational facility with extensive collections of artifacts and exhibits focusing on all areas of Alaska. Learn about Alaskan fauna, flora, geology, Native culture, post-contact history, the gold rush, the Aurora and many other facets of life in America's farthest north state. There are also special rotating art and photo exhibits. The museum has always been the main repository for material collected by scientists during their research projects all over Alaska. There are collections from the rain forests of Alaska's Southeast Panhandle and South Central Region on the Northern Pacific Ocean; from the Aleutian Chain that stretches so far towards Asia that it actually crosses the 180th Meridian, resulting in the most western part of Alaska being in the Eastern Hemisphere; from the vast boreal forests of the Interior with its great winding rivers that run east from the Canadian border hundreds of miles west to the shores of the Bering Sea; and from the flat tundra ecosystem of the shores of the Arctic Ocean.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Springhill Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field trips to a dog musher's house and kennels and the Alaska Pipeline. Lecture: The History of Fairbanks and the Great Alaskan Gold Rush". Informal class on "Life in Fairbanks".
(Sunday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in restaurant.
 Morning: Class: "Life in Fairbanks", an informal presentation from locals on daily life in Alaska. Topics may include the economy, demographics, wages, costs, schools, health care, political issues, legal systems, police and fire protection, and the logistics of daily living in a place with a temperature range from 99 above to 68 below. Class: "History of Fairbanks and the Great Alaskan Gold Rush". Hear how the flood of immigrants the gold rush brought to Alaska in the early 1900' changed the state and her people. Field trip for a close up view of the famous Alaska pipeline, one of the largest civil engineering projects ever completed in the United States. No matter how one feels about what drilling for oil did for and to the state of Alaska and her people, physically creating the 800 mile pipeline in an absolute and mostly uncharted wilderness was an amazing engineering accomplishment. Due to estimated costs, seven oil companies pooled their money to build it. Problems included having to summit numerous major mountain ranges, solving the stability problems presented by the permanently frozen ground of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic that underlies nearly half of the line and having to cross most of the great rivers of Alaska, including building the first ever bridge to cross the mighty Yukon River. And these were just the main challenges. The pipeline was built using the most advanced mid 1970's cutting edge technology that included refrigerated units to keep the frozen ground frozen and therefore stable. They used a precursor of a Teflon type material that provided a way for the pipeline to slide from side to side on its vertical support members, to allow it to withstand earthquakes caused by plate tectonic movements of the "Ring of Fire", the unstable deep earth shifts of the northern Pacific which reverberate throughout the state. Informal presentation on building the pipeline, how well the pipeline is holding up and possible future plans for oil development in the Arctic.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Field trip to a dog musher's house and kennel. Step into the musher's dog yard to visit with her dogs. (Petting allowed if desired.) Learn about her philosophy of breeding and training these four legged athletes for long distance racing and wilderness camping. Visit inside her house to hear about running the Iditarod race when it first started as a simple, local Alaskan competition, before it became a world-famous phenomenon attracting dog mushers from all over the world. She will also talk about participating in an international friendship dog sled race in the Russian Far East which was held shortly after the "Ice curtain melted" (as we locals refer to the opening of Russia to foreigners).
 Dinner: Dinner in restaurant
   
Accommodations: Springhill Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Drive down to Denali National Park, approximately 120 miles south of Fairbanks
(Monday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Drive 120 miles south on the Parks Highway to Denali National Park. (In a lovely coincidence, the Parks highway was NOT named that because it allowed road access to Denali National Park, but rather it was to honor George Parks, who was an engineer and an Alaskan Territorial Governor.) Denali National Park was established in 1917 primarily to protect the Dall Sheep and other large wildlife of the area which were being heavily hunted to feed miners and the workers building the new Alaska Railroad. At that time, it was named Mt. McKinley National Park in tribute to President McKinley who never once set foot in Alaska. Unfortunately, by mistake, the original park did not contain all of Mt. McKinley--including the summit which lay outside the boundaries they had established. In 1980, the name was changed when President Carter established a national preserve abutting the park boundaries, making the original park the heart of the new, expanded Denali National Park and Preserve. This time, the mountain was finally fully included within the protected area.
 Lunch: Lunch in a Parks Highway roadhouse.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the front country of Denali National Park. There is a visitor's center with very informative exhibits on the ecosystem, history and lands included in the park and preserve. There are films and/or ranger presentations. There are often planned afternoon hikes with a park ranger or you may hike on your own along well marked trails. IF YOU HAVE A NATIONAL PARK GOLDEN EAGLE PASSPORT, PLEASE BRING IT ALONG WITH YOU. We will leave the park around 5:00 p.m. or so to check into our lodgings, six miles south of the park entrance.
 Dinner: Dinner in a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: 6 hour field trip into Denali National Park
(Tuesday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in restaurant.
 Morning: Approximately six hour field trip into Denali National Park to the newly reopened Eielson Visitor's Center which was completely renovated only a few years ago. The park restricts access for private vehicles, and along with other visitors, we'll be riding in school buses over gravel roads. The buses stop often for stretching, taking photos of wildlife and for rest room breaks. There are modern flush toilet facilities at various rest stops that are approximately two hours or so apart. There are NO food services in the park--you will be provided with a sack lunch with one sandwich, one piece of fruit, one beverage and a simple dessert. We recommend you also pack your own filled water bottle and any snacks you might like to have along. Most of the bus drivers are very knowledgeable about the park and enjoy sharing their knowledge and their love of the park with their passengers. Note: sightings of Denali (which is what Alaskans call Mt. McKinley-it is the historical local indigenous Athabascans' name for the mountain) cannot be guaranteed. Denali is a massive mountain, both in height and in width, with two separate and distinct peaks. It is such a large land mass that it makes its own weather and unfortunately spends a lot of time hiding behind the clouds it traps at its summit.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on bus.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues
 Dinner: Dinner in a restaurant
   
Accommodations: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Return to Fairbanks, field trip to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center for tea with Athabascan elders.
(Wednesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: Drive from Denali National Park back to Fairbanks.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Return to Fairbanks. Road Scholar is hosted in Fairbanks by Denakkanaaga, an organization founded by the local Athabascan Elders of the indigenous tribe of the vast Interior of Alaska and Canada. Denakkanaaga is housed in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor's Center. The center has exhibits and dioramas on the people of Interior Alaska and the ecosystem we live in, with a focus on Athabascan life in the past and in the present There are workshop areas where on some days Native artists and craftspeople demonstrate their skills and explain the cultural significance of their work. The Alaska Public Lands Information Center, a storehouse of information and exhibits on the public lands in Alaska, is also located in the same building. We will have access to films and possibly lectures/presentations from their staff. Take a break at Denakkanaaga's office suite in the Center and have a cup of tea as you visit with some Athabascan elders.
 Dinner: Dinner in a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Springhill Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Fly to Nome
(Thursday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Flight to Nome. This flight is on a regularly scheduled Alaska Airlines jet. Arrive in Nome in the early afternoon.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Get acquainted with Nome. Suggestions: Check out the visitor's bureau for all kinds of information on Nome. Walk along the main street, turn south one block and stand on the shore of the Bering Sea. Go to the Carrie M. McLane Memorial Museum, small, but with an extensive collection of artifacts and articles on Nome. Drop in at the city library where there is free computer online access. These are all within a short walking distance from our hotel. Board a van to drive down to the fabled beaches of Nome, where tens of thousands of people lived in tents on the beach in the early 1900's as they panned for gold during the great Alaskan gold rush. Walk along the beach and watch the folks who come up today to spend the summer mining for gold just like they used to do in the old days. We will have a couple of gold pans along for you to try your luck at beach panning the "Golden Sands Of Nome".
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Nome Nugget Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Field trip to the University of Alaska Northwest Campus; evening visit with Inupiat (Eskimo) people who will sing and dance for us and tell us some stories.
(Friday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: Field trip to the University of Alaska Northwest Campus. Learn about the classes, the student body and the locally specific educational mission of this very isolated campus of America's northernmost university. The college serves students from Nome and from many of the very rural villages of the Seward Peninsula. Walk around the campus, on the boardwalks built on pilings that support the buildings above the permanently frozen ground as we visit classrooms, the library and the computer center, and learn about the history of the school.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Nome Senior Center. A chance to visit with the locals.
 Afternoon: Class on various topics on the ecosystem of Nome, Depending upon who is in town when we are there, we might have a class on fish or sea mammals or geology or the biology of the local musk oxen herds that, if we're very lucky, we just MIGHT see as we drive around the "suburbs" of Nome.
 Dinner: Dinner in a Nome restaurant.
 Evening: A visit with some of the local Native Alaskans who will share some of their traditional stories, songs and dances with us.
   
Accommodations: Nome Nugget Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Field trip to Teller, an Inupiat (Eskimo) village 70 miles north of Nome.
(Saturday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at senior center.
 Morning: Drive in small vans on an all day field trip to Teller, a small Inupiat village about 70 miles northwest of Nome, going as far north as the road will take us. We will make a number of stops to enjoy the beautiful, largely undeveloped landscape outside of town. Drive along the Bering Seacoast, take short hikes on the tundra, check out the flora and watch for wildlife. See examples of permafrost, the frozen soil underlying the vegetative layer on the treeless ancient glacier-scarred landscape of the Seward Peninsula. Our experienced guide will discuss the geology and ecology of the area and also the human history of the people of Nome, from ancient hunters and gatherers to the modern day inhabitants.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the banks of a small river. No outhouses available but there are plenty of bushes.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Teller and return to Nome continues.
 Dinner: Dinner in a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Nome Nugget Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Field trip out the Council Road to the famous "Train To Nowhere"
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: Drive 35 miles out the Council Road to the world famous Alaskan "Train to Nowhere". During the gold rush, local entrepreneurs decided that building a railroad from the gold fields to the ocean would increase their profits. They laid miles of track, bought steam engines that had been in use on the New York City subway system's elevated train lines and loaded them unto barges to sail them up to Nome. Before they completed the project, there was a huge flood that washed away some of the tracks and tossed one of the engines onto the nearby tundra. Where it has "rested" ever since, the railroad never being completed after this disaster. There is also a defunct gold dredge that sits alongside the Council Road. Both the train and the dredge have very informative and interesting billboards that explain their history and the dreams of the people that brought them here. As we drive, we follow along the home stretch of the Iditarod dog sled race course, along the shores of Safety Sound and onto the tundra of the Bering Sea coastline. We almost always see birds along the way and we always have our eyes peeled for sightings of musk-oxen. And once in a great while, we get to see sea mammals out in the ocean.
   
Accommodations: Nome Nugget Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11: Fly to Anchorage for the last night of the program
(Monday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: Lecture: "Daily Life Of An Oil Spill Worker" Slide presentation by a medic who worked on the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. There was a lot of information and coverage on the impact of the oil spill on the animals of Prince William Sound-this presentation focuses on the workers who were also impacted by the spill but about whom very little was recorded. The most recent BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought that past disaster back into the spotlight. The most amazing realization for the people who experienced the Exxon Valdez clean-up first hand, was how little progress has been made in the 20 years since that spill in the response plans, organization and in contingency procedures by the oil companies. The clean up plan they used in 2009 was almost exactly the same as that used 20 years ago-and no one considers the 1989 clean up a success story.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Depart for the airport for the flight to Anchorage. Anchorage is Alaska's largest city, located in a beautiful setting on Cook Inlet, surrounded by the Chugach Mountain Range. We spend the final night of the program in Anchorage.
 Dinner: Graduation dinner at a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Anchorage Ramada Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: The program ends after breakfast in the hotel. Breakfast runs from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
(Tuesday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: The Ramada Inn has an excellent location, a few blocks away from the heart of downtown Anchorage. Since Anchorage is situated in Alaska's South Central Region rather than the Interior and is too far south and of a very different ecology to be a Latitude 65 Sub-Arctic region, we have not included time there in our "Interior Alaska: Life at Latitude 65 North" program. We encourage you to explore Alaska's biggest city on your own.
   
Accommodations: Anchorage Ramada Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Fairbanks, AK Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Center
Fairbanks is the gateway to your authentic Alaskan adventure. Come be enthralled by winter's unsurpassed display of northern lights. Go mushing with a dog team on a wooded trail. See award-winning exhibits on Alaska's cultural and natural history. Shop for exquisite Alaska Native crafts, both Athabascan and Eskimo. Celebrate our Gold Rush Past. Be energized in summer's land of midnight sun. Visit the FCVB and let them transport you to the edge of the Last Frontier, Denali and the Arctic wilderness. For additional information, visit www.explorefairbanks.com
  Nome, AK City of Nome, Alaska
Nome is a charming, quirky town with an old fashioned feel. Many Alaskans say it reminds them of Alaska before the pipeline and all the ensuing development and progress that brought to us. Nome is a vibrant, individualistic place with a very small road system and no connection to anywhere else except by air or sea. Large by Alaskan standards, Nome still retains much of the feel of an Alaskan Bush community. For additional information, visit www.nomealaska.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Chasing Ice


Author: Directed by Jeff Orlowski


Description: A documentary movie on the effect of climate change in the northern hemisphere. Cameras were put in place and left for years to document changes. Watch glaciers melting, retreating and sometimes totally vanishing into thin air. Here's a review by Roger Ebert http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/chasing-ice-2012:



Coming Into The Country


Author: John McPhee


Description: John McPhee gives a good picture of various issues that Alaska had to consider and deal with in the 1970’s, some of which totally changed the state in far reaching ways.



Fairbanks: A Gold Rush Town That Beat The Odds


Author: Dermot Cole


Description: The story of Fairbanks from the gold rush days to the present. Written by a Fairbanks journalist.



Last Light Breaking : Living Among Alaska's Inupiat Eskimos


Author: Nick Jans


Description: A study of life in the remote Alaskan Arctic and the issues that face the indigenous people who live off the land as the landscape around them is transformed by modern technology.



The Firecracker Boys


Author: Dan O'Neill


Description: The story of famous physicist Edward Teller’s infamous quest to create a deep water harbor on Alaska’s Arctic Coast by using atom bombs to blast it into being. And the opposition to it.



Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness


Author: Robert Specht/Ann Purdy


Description: Autobiography of a 19 year old who came to Alaska in the 1920’s to teach in a remote village



Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival


Author: Velma Wallis


Description: A story about life in an ancient Athabascan culture, the challenges and the character of the people of that time.





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