Friday, June 19, 2015
Nenana Ice Classic
The small town of Nenana (population 386) has held their famous Ice Classic for 100 years.
This is a log cabin information center with a grass roof. There is also an Ice Classic gift shop across the street.
Between February 1 and April 5 each year, Alaskans across the state can buy a $2.50 ticket guessing the date and exact time the ice will break up on the river. To record this time, a large tripod is built. It stands probably 25 feet high (my guess). The tripod is planted two feet into the Tanana River ice at a location 300 feet from shore. The tripod is taken out onto the ice at the end of Tripod Weekend celebrations, which was March 8th this year.
The tripod is connected to a clock that stops at the exact moment the tripod falls through the ice. 2015 was a warm winter, so the tripod fell through the ice on April 24th at 2:25 pm. The latest date was May 20th in 2013.
Remember I said each ticket costs $2.50 --- they sell a lot of tickets because the 2015 payout was $330,330.00 Yes, 1/3 of a million dollars.
This town definitely has a feel of Rome, AK, the fictional town in the TV show, Northern Exposure. I really expected to see a moose walking down the street.
There are a lot of log buildings in Alaska, but this place has a log face on a regular building. I'm not sure who they are trying to fool.
It's amazing what a giant celebration can be created around a yearly event in nature.
I don't remember where we saw this airplane, but it was the middle of no where, literally! There was no airport for a long long way. Do you suppose there are people living in there?
On to Fairbanks..............