|Still camped at the Riverview RV Park in North Pole in Alaska. Boarded a nice tour bus at 7 a.m. to go on the Discovery III Riverboat Cruise down the Chena River. En route the bus driver took us on a tour of Fairbanks and told us a little more about their history. Arriving at the Riverboat landing a little early, most of us discovered a very nice gift shop. The actual cruise was on a large paddle wheeler so the ride was very peaceful and quiet. At the beginning of the cruise a bush pilot gave a demonstration of a take off and a landing with a Piper Super Cub on the river in real close quarters. Quite impressive to see it up close. In the winter time, the bush pilots are busy getting in supplies using the River as a landing strip. The actual cruise was not very long so they filled up the time with demonstrations along the way. We especially enjoyed the Iditarod sled dogs. Susan Butcher won the Iditarod four times. She passed away but her husband still resides on the homestead raising and training the sled dogs. They hooked up 10 dogs to a ATV loaded with eight thousand pounds and the dogs pulled him around a track along the shore, up through some woods and then back around to the shore. One could easily see that these dogs live to run and pull a sled. These dogs are no longer the Alaskan "Husky' that we think about. The dogs they use now have been bred to be lighter, stronger, and faster than the Huskies they used to use. Down the shoreline, the riverboat stopped again for a demonstration by a native Athabascan Eskimo girl. She explained and demonstrated the cutting of salmon and the process of drying the fish. The boat stopped off at the Chena Village where they had authentic cabins, caches, etc. Tour guides led us to three stops where they explained their native way of life. the hunting of game, the skinning and cleaning of pelts and the use thereof. After the Riverboat landed we boarded our tour bus and went to the Pump House Restaurant and Saloon for a buffet lunch with the best peach cobbler for dessert. The grounds at the restaurant were very nice and lots of beautiful flowers. After lunch, we stopped at the Alaska Pipeline Park where we could examine the actual pipe up close and see some memorial plaques. We arrived back at camp around 3 p.m. and had a briefing for our trip to Denali the next day. We relaxed at our campsite and had a nice long cocktail hour with Uwe, Anna, Rod and Joanne.