26 July, 1998

07/26/98 Out on the Chena and Tanana Rivers

*** Web work at ARCUS - meeting with the River Otter Project people from Seward - the Riverboat Discovery ***

After a relaxed start we spent the morning at ARCUS doing web maintenance with Renee. In the afternoon we met with Myrtle Brijbasi, Noa Levanon and Elisa Maldonado our counterparts from Seward who have been working with river otters. If you haven't already, click on Myrtle's portion of this web page, which by all accounts is more interesting than this one.

Renee took the five of us to the Riverboat Discovery for a tour of a portion of the Chena and Tanana rivers. What a trip!! The weather was perfect (Renee's doing) and the trip was an information packed four hours. We learned about the rivers and their history. We stopped at Susan Butcher's kennels and heard from the famous Iditarod champion about dog sledding. We even saw a dog sled in action! The riverboat stopped at the Chena Indian Village, which is a historic re-creation. At the village we leaned more about dog sledding and caribou and reindeer. We also saw Dixie Alexander at work. Dixie is a renowned Athabascan beadwork artist who has pieces on display in the Smithsonian.

It was an information packed outing on a perfect day surrounded by the beautiful scenery of these two formidable rivers.


I really like Fairbanks. It is a different king of city. When we went up to the top of Ester Dome, it was amazing to see the second largest city in Alaska on one side, and barren wilderness on the other. Elisa, Noa, and Myrtle from the Seward River Otter Project are a lot of fun. We had a good time on the riverboat and at the Pumphouse Restaurant. Renee Crain gave us another great tour of the sights of the town. At the end of the day we took a walking tour of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks campus. It is very spread out, and very large. Supposedly people who have to walk across campus between classes must risk temperatures of 40 below or more! That's dangerous!

Iditarod Champion Susan Butcher at her kennel on the Chena River.

One of Dixie Alexander's Athabascan beadwork creations.

Elisa, Aaron and Noa fail to see the humor.

Myrtle and Renee on deck.

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