***The Screaming Weasel Gift Shop***
I stopped at this new little gift shop in North Pole, Alaska it is an incredibly cool building to start off i mean you have not seen anything like it before at all, it is...well awesome; a log cabin that looks more like a spaceship or something. And then when you go through the doors it is really cool, the first thing that you see when you go through the door is a grizzly bear, yes that is right, no joke, a grizzly; and you can ride this bear and have your photo taken on it. which i of course did, who would not right? I know at first you think no way but once you get up there on this bear, sitting in the saddle, that's right it has a saddle, it was really a lot of fun. The girls working there were really great too, instead of making me feel like a total nut for wanting to ride the bear they were awesome, told me jokes, kept me laughing and had all kinds of props and fur hats and stuff that you can try on and use in your pictures, it was actually a lot of fun to do, and you will have to decide but i think that i look awesome in my pics. The rest of the store was really cool too, everything there was actually made by the locals, i got some really cool gifts there for family. a lot of woodworking and carvings and jewelry and a ton more. All in all i had a great time there and anyone in the area should really check it out, i did not regret it, after all how many places can you go and ride a bear, my pictures are definately going up on my facebook page. i love them.
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Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) Photograhy
North Pole is the perfect place for Fairbanks area photographers to visit in the dead of night for aurora borealis (Northern Lights) photography.
Most cameras are spec'd only to +32F. The best aurora viewing is October to March temperatures hover between -20F to -40F and lower. Keep your camera wrapped in a clean hat, bring it inside your car every 20-30 minutes for 15 minute warm up, have 3-4 charged warm batteries ready.
Aurora photography is time lapse photography. You need a steady tripod and a remote - anything but keeping your finger on the camera for time delay photos. The tripod needs a quick release and rubber coated. A fast lens - F/1.8 or better is needed for professional results.
35mm or digital - depends on the F/stop of your lens at it's widest angle. F/1.8 lens takes a great shot at only 3-4 secs at ISO 400. An F/2.5 lens is 15 secs. The aurora is always in motion, the quicker the shot, the sharper the image. ISO's 800, 1600, or 3200 gives allot of grain in film, noise in digital.
Expect to take 200-300 pictures. Digital pictures at the largest possible size and resolution. A laptop can be handy to download images on site.
Having an LED headlamp is invaluable - lets you peform hands free adjustments on your camera at night.
The best places to take aurora photos are south of town at the Chena Lakes Recreation Area and Bathing Beauty Pond.
- Road Trip
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A visit to North Pole
As you enter North Pole be sure and stop by the visitors center for a history of the town. If you don't have time for anything else stop by the big Christmas store to see the reindeer. This will probably your best sighting of one while you are visiting Alaska.
North Pole. You can visit Santa's official residence. And there is a Santa. One is elected by the citizens and he remains the official Santa until... All letters sent to him get here
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