Page 14 - RV Alaska
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 Nenana
In the indigenous Athabascan language,
the word nenana means “a good place to camp between two rivers.” So it follows
that the little village of Nenana, just over
an hour from Fairbanks along the George Parks Highway, sits at the intersection of the Nenana and Tanana
Rivers.
At the confluence
of two rivers and
a rail line, it served
as the home port
for the old paddle-
wheel riverboats that
traversed the Alaskan
Interior. While the last
riverboat from that
era sits on display in
Fairbanks, the small township remains an active supply center for smaller villages in the area. Services in Alaska’s Interior can
be few and far between, which makes Nenana the perfect jumping-off point for all your activities in the Interior. Gas stations,
a general store, gift shops, a post office, a library, a few small clinics, and an RV park and campground can all be found within the city limits.
Despite having a population of only around 300 people, Nenana has quite a few interesting attractions too. One of your first
stops should be the Alaska State Railroad Museum, located inside the historic Nenana Depot. In 1923, the Depot commemorated the completion of the rail line between Fairbanks and Seward with President Warren G. Harding driving in the final golden spike. The museum is a great place to learn about the history of Alaska’s railroads and how they paved the way for settlement long before there were paved roads through
the Interior. Another must-visit is Coghill’s General Store,
which has been
in operation since 1916 and is still owned by the same family. It’s the go-to place to get supplies in Nenana - and pick up some local knowledge, too.
Perhaps the most important event in Nenana each year is its annual Ice Classic, a betting pool that runs
from February to April, in which the townspeople place bets on when the Tanana River’s ice breakup will occur. Each spring, “Tripod
INTERIOR ALASKA
   Photo: James Brooks
33
 FREE WiFi Available
•
In-House Home-Brewed Beer
2nd & A Street - Nenana, Alaska
(907) 832-5299 email:roughwoods1@juno.com
Quality Dining • Rustic Decor • Clean, Quiet
  Fully Remodeled Rooms
• Satellite TV in Rooms
•
   32
 TENT CAMPING
NENANA RV Park & Campground
 RV CAMPING
45 Spaces Available (all pull-thru) Pull-thru Size (18 x 62)
Room for Slideouts Shaded (Some) Water Hookup • Electric Hookup 30 Amp Propane for Sale Fire Pit • Laundry Picnic Table at Site • Dump Station
Mini Store • Family & Pet Friendly
        DRY CABIN RENTAL
Linens provided - Accommodates up to three.
FREE FOR GUESTS
Wi-Fi, Showers, Bike Rentals, Mini Golf, Fishing Gear
   210 E. 4TH ST, Nenana, AK 99760
Early May—End of September (weather permitting)
907-832-5230 or 907-328-9398 reservations@nenanacamping.com - nenanacamping.com
  Weekend” celebrates the installation of a tripod, which is placed out on the ice. A
line is attached to the top of the tripod, the other end is taken to the Ice Classic tower nearby on the banks of the river. Attached there to the clock inside the tower, when the ice goes out and moves the tripod 100 feet the line breaks and stops the clock. The Tanana River ice officially broke up on April 27th, 2020 at 12:56 pm. The jackpot for the Nenana Ice Classic is $125,000. There were five winning tickets.
Lastly, a little-known fact about Nenana: while the Iditarod race officially begins
in Anchorage, Nenana is its historical starting point. In the diphtheria serum run of 1925, which the race commemorates, the medication was actually shipped from Anchorage to Nenana by rail, and then transported by sled dogs the remaining 674 miles to its final destination in Nome.
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