Today (6/23/11) was our sleep in day and this afternoon we went to the Riverboat Discover ride near Fairbanks on the Chene River.This is a very popular tourist attraction; as we found out this is much more than a paddlewheel boat ride. This is a family owned business started by Charles Binkley back in 1898 and the family continues to do the river boat tours; the fifth generation is now taking on the business responsibility. The entire trip is narrated by a very knowledgeable narrator. The tour includes a stop at a simulated Athabasca Indian Village where they do live demonstrations showing how the natives were able to survive in the North Country. Many of the workers at the village are native college students who are doing a great job of carrying on their native traditions. After the boat tour Ed and Lorrie went home ahead of us to prepare supper giving us time to shop at the gift shop and purchase souvenirs. Their son-in-law, Neal brought four large salmon that they cleaned this morning in preparation for this evening. Ed wanted to get home and get the salmon in the smoker in time for supper. In addition to salmon and salmon roe, Ed also grilled moose burgers and reindeer sausage so we really had a great feast tonight. After supper we viewed photos of our time together and began packing for our departure tomorrow morning. Our time at the Shirks will always be a “highlight” of our Alaska trip.
Ed, Lorrie, Jonni, Neal, Stanley, Mary Jane, & Marie