Monday, July 6, 2015
Day 6 in Alaska- Nenana & the Ice Classic
Heading south on the Parks Hwy, we stopped to visit the small town of Nenana. I'd first heard about Nenana from Corrie, because that was where barges would transport large amounts of goods to the "bush" (aka- interior not accessible by car). Since Corrie lives in the "bush" or more accurately a town called Galena, she did all necessary shopping for a year in Anchorage, which will then be shipped to Galena via a barge based in Nenana. The barge will then transport the goods up the Tanana River to the Yukon River and then over to the town of Galena.
Anyway, it wasn't a planned stop but I saw the sign and figured it wouldn't hurt to make a quick stop and see the barges along the river.
While there though we learned about the Nenana Ice Classic. Basically what happens is as winter is winding down, the citizens of Nenana will construct a wooden tripod on top of the ice in town in March (same location every year). Then people have an opportunity to bet when the tripod on the ice will reach the river. Attached to the tripod is a rigged clock that once the tripod on the ice reaches the river the clock will stop. The person(s) to correctly guess the date and time (hour and minute) will win the prize money. For 2015 the river broke up on April 24th at 2:25pm. 28 people guessed correctly and the jackpot was $330,330.
I thought it was a neat tradition and way to welcome the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Well.... spring in Alaska.