Diary Farm & Ice Museum...

Our finale in Fairbanks was to visit the Creamer's Dairy celebrating 50 Years of Cows, Cranes & Conservation.

The history of this place is an interesting one and much older than 50 years. As the Nome, Alaska gold rush at the turn of the century was winding down, Belle and Charles Hinckley brought three of their cows and some horses, from Nome by steamboat and sternwheeler, to the small outpost of Fairbanks to operate a dairy. They paid for their passage by selling milk to the other passengers. On the last leg of the journey, they met and became friends with the Creamers, another pioneer family on their way to Fairbanks. Charles Hinckley's sister, Anna, later married Charlie Creamer in Fairbanks. In 1928, Charlie and Anna Creamer purchased the dairy from the Hinckleys and continued to develop, enlarge, and operate it until 1966. It was the largest and most successful dairy in the interior of Alaska.
Though it is no longer a dairy, its role is still important... for stopovers and summer use of migratory birds. Even though some birds only stay for a brief time, they depend on Creamer's Refuge to feed and rest each spring and fall during their migration. Other birds such as Sandhill Cranes, Northern Shoveler Ducks, and Mallard Ducks may remain the whole summer.
I loved this description of a Sandhill Crane, "Whether stepping singly across a wet meadow or filling the sky by the hundreds and thousands, Sandhill Cranes have an elegance that draws attention. These tall, gray-bodied, crimson-capped birds breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America. They group together in great numbers, filling the air with distinctive rolling cries. Mates display to each other with exuberant dances that retain a gangly grace."

This was bald eagle #3 and counting!

After exploring the nature trails, Steve and I attended our first Contra Dance. Much like a square dance, three things are needed for its success: a caller; a band; and dancers. We were happy to be one of the three.
Our days in Fairbanks were amazing. We didn't know what to expect and we were so pleasantly surprised by it all.
Next stop was Chena Hot Springs, home to the world’s largest year-round ice environment- the Aurora Ice Museum. It was created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, all harvested at the resort and every work of art within it is ice (we were warned not to lick anything).
The museum was completed in January 2005 and stays a cool 25° Fahrenheit inside (parkas are available to use during the hour + long tour). The museum features amazing ice sculptures created by sixteen time world champion ice carver Steve Brice, certified N.I.C.A (National Ice Carving Association) and his wife, Heather a seven time world champion. And the room, pictured above, is where the magic happens!

An homage to Beauty & the Beast was appreciated by me.

This life sized joust needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. Wow.

After our tour, we totally chilled out at the Aurora Ice Bar. We sipped an appletini served in an ice-carved martini glass (which is currently being kept in our camper's freezer for more frosty libations later).

“Some moments are nice,
some are nicer,
some are even worth writing about.”
― Charles Bukowski

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Karen Booth said...

A Dairy owned by someone named "Creamer". How ironic, like someone building Trade Show Booths named Booth! I guess there were no bathroom stops in the Ice Museum :) I liked the Beauty and the Beast tribute, but the spheres were my favorite. Was your martini glass made of ice?

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Love the frozen world there! So beautiful and super cool! No pun intended!

Aquí Ahí Allá said...

Ugh, the ice martini is so cool!!
My goal is to stay in an ice hotel, which has a similar bar. Love it!

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