Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Road to Chena Hot Springs II

We made it up the road a bit, and found ourselves at the end of the road. I know it was the end of the road, because the sign says so. There are a lot of roads in Alaska just like that. There is no somewhere else to go to, the end of the road is here.

Fairbanks is like that, sometimes. I was driving home one day and saw a woman standing by the side of the road. She had a cardboard sign in her hands - "HELP ME GET HOMELAND SECURITY OUT OF MY HOUSE." I stopped, and asked what she was doing.

According to her, for some reason Homeland Security had recording devices in the trailer home she was renting. Hmmm. There's no good comeback when someone says that. I suggested she call the Sheriff.

Like I said, this is the end of the road - the last community of any size on the last road in the last frontier in America. Adventurers, misfits, and fortune seekers are the primary folks who live here.

Anyway, Chena Hot Springs is the end of this particular road.

Chena Hot Springs' biggest attraction is . . . the hot springs. The pool is shown above. Like any picture on the site, you can click it, and through the magic of computers it gets bigger. Ahem.

The pool is wonderful, The Mrs. and I hit it in November. Beautiful dark sky, and no one in the pool but her and I. Our hair froze from the steam hitting it, while under the water we were a toasty 102F.

According to the clerk (a wonderful woman from Hooper, Colorado) they put all of the rocks 'round the outdoor pool to keep the moose from hanging out in the pool. I've never had the visual image of moose in a hot tub before, but, hey, it's Alaska, and apparently it's a real problem.

Hot Tub Bandit

Well, The Mrs. and I enjoyed the naturally hot water, and when we were done we passed the next occupants of the pool, a Japanese man and woman. A lot of the signs at the resort are in Japanese, as well as the menu at the restaurant. I do not speak Japanese, but I do understand the tonality, volume, and intonation of pissed-off-wife. This was absolutely the most pissed-off woman I'd seen in public in a long, long time. I could here her rapid firing what I assume was the Japanese version of:

"I can't believe that you spent money to bring me here in the middle of winter - Alaska in the middle of winter- you fool. I wish I'd married Hiroshi - he knows how to treat a woman. Why don't you make more money?" And more of the same. For minutes. The poor guy looked utterly defeated.

There's a rumor (probably not true) in Alaska that Japanese folks have two beliefs relevant to Fairbanks:
  1. Hot Springs increase, ahem, potency for the Japanese male
  2. Children conceived under the Aurora are more intelligent
Regardless of these beliefs, I heard the way this woman was talking. Of all the things in the world I know, I know that there was no child conceived that night, regardless of the poor guy's potency.

The pool looked just as inviting on our latest visit as when The Mrs. and I hit it at -10F in November. They don't allow kids in the pool, so since we have The Boy and Little Brother, it's unlikely that we'll be hitting the pool soon as a family unit.

We drove home, and saw the above pictured moose munching down on the salad that was the roadside with a moose friend. Unlike deer, they don't run off when they think that there might be a human within 300 nautical miles, they just hang out while you sit and watch them. I'm willing to bet that someday they'll be playing video games in my basement, drinking my sodas, eating my Doritos. Except during hunting season.


Blogger rosietx1 said...

lol Great post! As for the the Japanese (and Chinese, and Thai, etc) believe of 'aheming' in Alaska - the draw is the Northern Lights. It's believed that conceiving under the Auroras will bring a boy, and that yes - they'll be more intelligent - but it's mostly the boy they're looking for. They do come in droves.. not just to Fairbanks. Used to be TONS of 'em on tour up at Circle Hot Springs in Central, AK but that resort closed down.

I didn't know that the rocks were put around CHSP to keep the moose out - but it makes sense I suppose! I love going up there... a nice 1hr drive from the house...

8:39 PM  

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