Monday, August 5, 2019

Riverboat Discovery in Fairbanks, Alaska


After a rough beginning to our trip to Alaska, it was good to finally be able to enjoy the first excursion to sail on a fully narrated three-and-a-half-hour tour on the Riverboat Discovery along the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Since 1950, the Binkley family has operated these riverboat tours in Fairbanks, Alaska.


It was a beautiful day, complete with a rainbow in the sky!


We sat on the top of the riverboat so that we would have a good view of the river.


The Riverboat Discovery goal is to give a complete Alaskan experience, and one of the unique aspects of life in Alaska is traveling by bush floatplane. A bush pilot took off and landed right next to the riverboat as the pilot shared his stories of village life and explained the vital role planes play in remote Alaska.


As we sailed we saw an eagle sitting along the river, and saw some caribou.


We also saw many beautiful homes along the river banks!



The riverboat stopped alongside the shore of the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher, and the Trailbreaker Kennels, located along the Chena River. We learned first hand about kennel life and the challenges that go into making a champion dogsled team from Susan's daughter. We also saw the puppies play in anticipation of joining the team.



The riverboat later stopped at the replica of Chena Fish Camp, where we saw a demonstration of how Alaskan Athabascan 
natives traditionally prepared salmon for smoking and drying.


We also enjoyed a one-hour stop at a replica of a Chena Indian Village, where Athabascan native guides showed us what a traditional village looked like, and gave us insight into their heritage. We learned about their connection to the land and animals of Alaska, their modes of travel, traditional living quarters and their traditional clothing made of animal hide and furs and decorated with beautiful beadwork.


It was wonderful to relax and enjoy the views along the river.  After the tour, we returned to the landing and dined family-style in the dining room. After lunch, we had a few more adventures--more about that in my next post!

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33 comments:

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

What an interesting your! I am enjoying your Alaska posts.

Michelle said...

Pat, these are some fantastic views. Nice to see that well kept dog kennel.

Powell River Books said...

Water and air is the way to see Alaska. It is so remote that getting around by vehicle is limited. Glad your trip is turning out much better. - Margy

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Beautiful scenes from your Alaska trip! I like the riverboat. Cool sighting of the caribou! It is neat seeing the dog kennel and home, I would like to see the Iditarod race. Wonderful photos.
Enjoy your day, have a happy new week!

Cristina - Memories of the Pacific said...

What a fun experience! My favorite part are the beautiful house, I'd love to call home every single one of them!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I've always wanted to take your trip - great views too!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How amazing! I've never heard of taking a riverboat but it looks like the best way to see a lot! Aren't you glad you can take as many photos as you like now! When I went to Alaska years ago....it was film in the camera! lol Hugs!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Awesome sights. I am eagerly waiting to see and read about the rest of your excursion.

NCSue said...

I certainly wouldn't have anticipated finding a riverboat in Alaska! Very cool!
Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/08/mmmmmmm.html

Mother of 3 said...

That sounds like a much better day! We have float planes that sometimes land on our lake and it's always fascinating to watch.

Tom said...

...it looks like you were on the Mississippi! What a trip.

Angie said...

Pat - so glad your adventure resumed a more normal course! The "Discovery" is aptly named with all that the tour covered. History, culture, animal life and more! Thanks for faithfully linking to Mosaic Monday!

Lady Fi said...

Lovely shots. That rainbow is spectacular!

Sharon Wagner said...

The cabin reminds of the one Richard Prenneke built. I just finished reading, "One Man's Alaska" I'd recommend it.

Fun60 said...

Good to hear your tour eventually got underway. Loved the photos.

William Kendall said...

The caribou are a delight to see.

Cielo said...

Oh what a nice post! I love everything :)


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betty-NZ said...

I never think of Alaska when I hear 'riverboat', so this is something new to me.
Your trip looks so amazing and I'm sure you have so many photos and memories. What a fabulous way to spend a holiday.
I've always thought that I would enjoy an Alaska cruise, so thanks for sharing yours!

betty-NZ said...

I enjoyed your post at 'My Corner of the World' this week!


My Corner of the World

Joyful said...

Fantastic scenery and nature shots. I do love the north country minus those pesky mosquitoes.

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Thanks so much for linking up your post at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 42!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Pat, I loved this! I often read and hear about people taking Alaska cruises and end up feeling sorry for them, because they really get only a sanitized version of the real thing. ... your river cruise here was so completely different from that; I wish we’d known about it when we visited Alaska (on this one half day you blog here, you saw things we missed and we spent three months there). LOL, now instead of feeling bad for you due to the rough start, I now am envious and want you to be our next tour guide ))....thanks so much for sharing this.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Hard to even imagine how beautiful it must have been on the riverboat cruise. Beautiful photos, and thanks for taking us along!

Michelle said...

Thank you for linking up today. I saw you on FB making some sauce. I LOVE it!!

Sylvia Graceforagypsy.com said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for linking up with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 42

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Lovely photos...so happy that the trip got back to normal for the two of you. I always think of Alaska covered in snow...it so beautiful and green. My thoughts are with you both.

Treat and Trick said...

What a beautiful trip you have! Am loving your amazing photos too..

Jeanie said...

Wow -- That's especially cool, going to the Iditarod spot. I'd love that. So glad you got a good ride (with fabulous views -- every photo is a gem). You deserve it after day one!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Oh how wonderful! I'm hoping to get to Alaska, but our trip to Colorado, FL, and Ireland come first. This all begins in September. I'm so excited. Wishing you well!

Little Wandering Wren said...

I love your day of rainbows and riverboats! Gosh, there are some amazing homes there - oh how the other half live! The Indian Village stop would have been fascinating to me - in fact, the whole trip is. Ok, Alaska is now officially on my bucket list!
looking forward to the next installment
Wren x

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - So glad your trip finally got back on track after a rough beginning. What a scenic wonderland Alaska is. So many of those photos brought back memories of our trip there, including those dogs that run the Iditarod race. I think we went to the same lecture as you!

Lowcarb team member said...

Your trip looks amazing, thanks for all of the wonderful photographs.

All the best Jan

Crafty Green Poet said...

looks like a very interesting and scenic trip