We went out to catch the aurora on Day 5 night, but sadly our cameras weren’t good enough to capture the lights. Also, it was mad freezing (think -20 deg celsius) and I think I caught a cold then cos I was down sick for the next 5-6 days. No amount of heat packs could warm my toes… I was seriously afraid that I might get frostbites and my toes would fall off. Also, we decided that we should rent a car for the rest of our stay in Fairbanks since it proved to be highly inconvenient without a car.
I emailed a few auto rentals prior to leaving Singapore and Peter from Alaska Auto Rental was extremely helpful and accommodating in his replies. He also provided the most affordable rates and they are the only car rental company in Fairbanks that equips all of their vehicles with full winterization packages and high traction winter tires. These are very important considerations due to the Alaskan icy road conditions during winter. Peter replied my emails very promptly and also picked us up at the backpackers and drove us to his office. Thumbs up.
We went for a Toyota Yaris for a period of 4.5 days, returning at the airport, with 1200 miles included. The cost was US$476.75. In retrospect, we could have gone for the cheaper option of US$344.75 + .35/mile since we did not travel very much (due to my cold). The Yaris was well maintained, everything that should be working was working (yay for working heater. LOL). There was lots of space for the 2 of us including luggage. Returning the vehicle at the airport was also convenient for us since our flight was at 1am.
Upon collection of our rented car, we decided to visit the Ice Sculpting competition downtown (Ice Alaska). But downtown ain’t that accessible too. The ice park was a good 10 minute drive away from the edge of downtown.
We left after a short while as we wanted to head out to the ice park again at night to see the sculptures with the lights on. Brrr, it was freezing though the sun was out. On the way back, we stopped by Walmart to get some souvenirs and snacks, and also Old Navy. Mr Goh was B.O.R.E.D. *sigh… what do I do with this man*
While at Walmart, we finally figured out why Americans are all quite big sized… man, the fresh produce is like 3x more expensive than the frozen and canned stuff!
It was way more beautiful at night, with the different coloured lights illuminating the sculptures. The details definitely came to life. The amount of fine details that went into the sculptures were amazing and breathtaking. Mr Goh took a lot of photos at night, almost everything until I got really bored and sick. We called it a night early because the chill was definitely worsening my cold. I could barely breathe through my nose.