|The forecast was for showers, but the clouds broke up and we had beautiful sunshine all day! It was a wonderful day as we gathered after breakfast for our transfer to the Eldorado Gold Mine. After a short train ride around the mine property, the mine crew gave a very informative demonstration on the step-by-step process of gold mining. Then it was time for everyone to try their hands at panning for gold. Everyone got to keep what they panned, with some having up to $35 worth! We also had the privilege of being entertained by Alaska's Ambassador of Country Music appointed by Governor Sarah Palin, Earl Hughes. Then we were off to the Riverboat Discovery Landing where we were served a delicious meal of miner's stew, biscuits, and muffins. A beautiful afternoon was in store as we slowly made our way down the Chena River on the paddlewheeler, Discovery III. We saw a demonstration by a bush pilot and watched as his showed how to land and take off on the water in his float plane. We were then treated to a sled dog training demonstration a little further down the river as we stopped at the home of former Iditorod winner, Susan Bratcher. We turned around as we reach the Tanana River, then stopped at the Chena Village. Here, we were shown how the native Alaskans lived long ago. After some free time at the Chena Village, we re-boarded the Discovery III for our journey back down the river to Fairbanks. On the way, the crew served up smoked salmon dip and crackers. Arriving back at the hotel, we had a few minutes to freshen up before heading to the great Alaskan Salmon Bake. This is a popular attraction in Fairbanks and we were treated to a wonderful all you can eat meal of grilled salmon, baked cod, and prime rib with all the fixings! It was a fabulous end to a fantastic day!