Despite me not really liking the choice of stay in Fairbanks, I still tried to stay positive. After all, it’s a holiday and I don’t want to ruin it for us. Day 5 of our trip saw us going to the Alaska Dog Mushers Association by chance. A couple of ladies at the backpackers were going there, and asked us to join them, so we did. It was kinda cool since we have not seen dog mushing before.
It wasn’t till a couple hours later that the races start, so we decided to grab some food and warm ourselves first. There was like a little hut which has a food and drink counter, and also doubles up as the race office.
The races started soon after, and you can barely hear the MC over the dogs. They were super hyperactive and raring to go/race. The racing dogs were also not quite what I expected (as in their breed). They are not like the huskies I saw in Eight Below.
We missed the transport back because the ladies decided to go without us (super upset with them. They could have informed us, rather than making arrangements with us prior, then leaving us without any transport in that ulu area). But we had fun by ourselves too. We made our first snow angels, albeit not very successful. It was quite hard to get up without sinking into the snow.
When we finally managed to call a cab to return to the hostel, it was almost 4pm. We decided to take a short walk around the hostel and see what’s available for dinner. We decided on an early dinner at Pad Thai, a Thai restaurant which was about 10 minutes walk out onto the main road. The lady boss is a true blue Thai so the food was pretty authentic (read spicy!).
While walking back to the hostel, we crossed paths with a local, who said “Welcome to Fairbanks!” to us. I think it was quite obvious that we were tourists as we were all bundled up in long down jackets, beanies and gloves, whereas he was dressed simply in a sweater. LOL! Back at the hostel, we got into comfy lounge clothes and just sat at the lounge and chatted with the other backpackers. Then, the visiting relatives of the host family surprised us by cooking us a hearty meal of Tex-Mex chili with the works (jalapenos, crackers, shredded cheese, wraps, sour cream, spring onions). OMG, be still my *already full, but still rumbling* tummy. I love chili.
Jack, the nephew of the owner, was visiting Alaska with his mother, and decided to cook us Sunday dinner. Though Mr Goh and I already had dinner, we still ate some of that wonderful chili. I didn’t enjoy the caribou version very much as the meat was in chunks, whereas the beef version was minced so it was easier on my jaw. But caribou didn’t taste very bad though (caribou = wild reindeer).
The owner’s daughter completed our meal by preparing choc-dipped strawberries with cool whip. It felt really nice to just sit at the table and have a good meal with strangers, chatting about our travel experiences, where we came from and what are our next travel plans. Throughout the day, there was one little fellow who kept coming to us. He’s super adorable, and breathes noisily, like he’s having the flu or something. And he actually eats my bread crusts (I snuck a few pieces to him, and got caught by Billie!).