Saturday, October 25, 2014


On the trip back from Fairbanks this summer, I stopped in the tiny town of Nenana, the location of the popular "Nenana Ice Classic." I didn't stay for long, as I had spent more time in Fairbanks than originally planned. It's a pretty little place and my brief walk around made me want to stop again on my next trip. There is more to see than what I captured on camera and I wouldn't mind camping here, close to the Tanana River. This river is a lifeline for residents living in the remote areas around Nenana. In the summer, there are usually boats being filled with supplies for transport to villages or residences. This is also where the dyptheria serum arrived by train from Anchorage and was then rushed to Nome by a dogsled team, the only form of transportation available. The town now hosts the "Serum Run," which follows that original route, unlike the Iditarod, which starts in Anchorage and meanders up through the wilderness until reaching Nome.

Nenana is an hour south of Fairbanks, along the Parks Highway, and is worth a peek for visitors interested in Native history of Interior Alaska, the Iditarod, Interior transportation, northern lights (winter) or the Ice Classic. It is the only place where someone can buy tickets for the famous spring break-up competition at any time of year. As someone who enjoys the culture of my state, I found Nenana to be a valuable insight into the true lifestyle of real Alaskans. There are fewer and fewer towns, accessible by road, which still demonstrate the pioneer spirit. I'll harp on that later. For now, I hope you'll enjoy this short video. 

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