Chena River Lake


During the summer solstice in June 2010, I spent eight days and no nights in Fairbanks, Alaska. Here is a portion of the journey.

The Chena River Lakes are a series of dams and levees designed to control flooding in the Fairbanks area. Fairbanks from flood disaster as happened in 1967. The lakes are dammed only temporarily hold water back from flooding low lying areas. A permanent lake would interrupt spawning salmon heading upstream to their breeding grounds. When the lakes are dry a wide bike trail path runs the rim of the miles long levees a practical dual purpose.


Birch trees filtering light to reveal a velvet carpet of green ferns. A Spruce Grouse mother and her two baby birds have their complacency disturbed as human visitors pass through the ox-bowed area of the twisting Chena River east of Fairbanks. The mother bird tree hopped from low to high clicking like a rooster until her clutch was safe with her.

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