Sternwheeler River Trip, Part 2

(Posted August 26, 2000, Herbert E. Lindberg)

After rounding the river intersection and proceeding up the Chena river, we soon came to Chena Village, an outgrowth of Charlie Binkley's River Tours.

Chena Village as we approached for docking

The mechanical contraption in the foreground of the picture below is a fish wheel, which rotates in the current of the river and traps any fish that may be passing by, because the water is so silty the fish can't see the fish wheel. They're so effective that they're illegal in some parts. The woman on shore demonstrated the art of filleting a fish, but I missed all this because I had to switch chips (like changing film) in my camera.

Fish wheel, and Athabascan artist who demonstrated filleting

After the modeling in the picture below, we saw many other things made by this artist, who also teaches the crafts to other Athabascans and locals with an artistic bent.

Athabascan girl models parka made by woman in previous picture

This was a cute basket, and I hadn't photographed Mary for a while to prove that it was us on this Alaskan tour, so I snapped the picture below:

Mary shows Athabascan baby-carry basket

This is a close-up of the sod-covered cabin that greets visitors as they're about to embark from a Discovery sternwheeler.

Greeting cabin at Chena Village

On our way back along the Tanana river, I made sure to snap this picture of a home we saw on the outgoing leg. It has all the toys, including tennis courts out of view on the left.

Tanana river home with all the (short) summer toys

After the river trip, we had a wonderful lunch at the Pump House restaurant on the river (built for the Fairbanks area goldfields) and then resumed our travels on our Tauck motor coach. On our way to Denali we stopped at a tourist store for a potty break and incidental shopping. The dolls pictured below were near the entrance to the gift shop.

Is this how we look to Alaskans?

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