Not your average travel blog
After driving slowly past the least inconspicuous military air base in The World (I can say that now, as America advertises everything compared to “the world”) Fairbanks is the next city on the trail. For its location, the Eielson Air Base, just south east of Fairbanks, was established as part of World War 2 military expansion and later became a vital field for the Cold War, and later Iraq War deployment. With all the visible fighter jets, as well as a couple of B52’s grounded perfectly in line on the tarmac, like an OCD child’s bedroom floor, it looks the pinnacle of a professional armed forces outfit. It also looks somewhat daunting under the gloomy grey skies of the north and behind its ten foot barbed-wire fence. Stopping alongside and taking photos was strictly not allowed. It wasn’t quite Top Gun; it’s not hot enough.
Fairbanks is amongst the major cities in Alaska – along with the southern port of Anchorage, and Juno, the capital. Although I won’t visit Juno on this trip, it is a unique capital. It is located South East of the central coastline and only accessible by sea and air. We stocked up on a few supplies, managed to take a shower for the first time in over a week, enjoyed some facilities and I also picked up a few items for my future projects in Malawi (more of that in the coming months). We found our bearings as we know we will have to come back through Fairbanks on our way south, after we hopefully complete our next challenge: the Dalton Highway. We flagged down a local-looking couple in a Lowes parking lot and asked where in Fairbanks might serve us a hearty breakfast. Sourdough Sam’s on University Avenue was our recommended destination and it was magnificent. Recommending the corn beef hash with hash brown and two poached eggs, obligatory coffee (as black as midnight on a moonless night, of course) and I was about as ready to go as a cornered honey badger. KP was also doing a jig (mentally) after his gigantic omelette with olives (ooooh, fancy!), because next to Sam’s was a car wash, and our dusty steed might once again feel the sun on her steely paintwork. I wasn’t dancing much. If the reports were anything to go by, I’ll be making sure the minx is filthy again as soon as we begin the Dalton. We’re about to hit the road to the Arctic, and this time, (hopefully) we will see the ocean.