We made it to Fairbanks on Monday afternoon, about a week ahead of schedule.  The ground here is still frozen, so our RV site has only electric service at the moment.  We can get water from a tank truck and dump our waste tanks into another truck, both provided by the park where we are staying. 


We spent a few days getting acquainted with the area…finding the local bank, post office, grocery store, Wal-Mart, etc., and generally finding our way around town.  I’ve been helping out with some chores involved in getting the park put back in shape after the winter months. 


The park is right on a “float plane” pond which is still frozen, so the planes are equipped with skis rather than pontoons, so they can still use the “runway.”




The RV park here also runs an RV rental business using a fleet of around 5 Class C motor homes and 5 travel trailers.  During the past week, we sent 8 of the units out for the “Arctic Man” event.


This weekend is the 17th annual Arctic Man Ski & Sno-Go Classic. Man meets machine in this thrilling downhill race at Summit Lake, about 75 miles south of  Delta Junction on the road toward Valdez, which combines snowmobiling with downhill skiing, whilst borrowing an idea or two from the water-based version of the sport. 



Arctic Man Ski & Sno-Go Classic


Understandably billed as one of the world's toughest downhill ski races, the basic idea is for the skier to complete a steep two-mile descent through a narrow canyon. However, rather than stop and look proudly up the slope, he shoots straight along a wide and flat expanse and is met by a speeding snowmobile complete with tow-rope.

The skier has to grab the handle (no mean feat at speeds of up to 60mph) and then hold on for dear life as the snowmobile pulls him uphill for two-and-a-quarter miles at speeds of up to 86mph. The two then separate and the skier flies off the side of the second mountain and drops a further 1200 feet to cross the finish line.

The event usually attracts around 13,000 spectators to cheer on the 80 teams of competitors.


Winning times are in the range of 4 minutes 14 seconds.  Crazy!




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