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Friday July 5, 2013- Tok to MP 288, Hwy 4, AK

ALASKA FACT- Purchased from Russia in 1867

We were taking our time this morning when I noticed I had a voice mail message. Friends Raimund (Ray) and Barbara, from the Alfa groups, were also in Tok. I called Ray and we met them at the Teroso gas station  We were passing each other on the road, as they are headed south! It was great to see some more of our friends…. Can’t go anywhere without running into some one you know, even in the middle of nowhere!

We returned to the motor home and packed up. We left at about 11 AM, went tot the Teroso gas station and bought 40 gallons of diesel for $4.42/gal. it had been $4.39 at the Cheveron the other day. When we went there this morning it was $4.69. Whew, quite a holiday jump!

We turned north on the Alaska Hwy. We had been told that there were five forest fires, all around us. We were able to smell some smoke, but it was not bad in Tok.

As we traveled north, we noticed it became worse and worse.

The road out of Tok, note the bike path on right

Smoke between Tok and Dot Lake AK

Smoke between Tok and Dot Lake AK

It was lunch time, but we were not stopping in this horrible air. We continued north, and just past Dot Lake, the air cleared out. We could see the mountains again!

We ate lunch at a pullout, then continued north to Delta Junction. Delta Junction is the official end of the Alaska Hwy. although. most people consider Fairbanks the end of the highway.

Here are mosquito statues at the visitor center. We have found that so far the mosquitos have not been that bad. 

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Delta Junction Visitor Center

End of the Alaska Hwy Delta Junction AK

We walked across the road to the Sullivan Roadhouse museum ( free).

Delta Junction AK

Sullivan Roadhouse Delta Junction AK

The Sullivan Roadhouse was built in 1905. The trail that led from Valdez to Delta Junction passed through this area. Roadhouses were built along the road. This is one of the few remaining ones. This is the oldest roadhouse in interior Alaska still remaining.

Kitchen, Sullivan Roadhouse, Delta Juncion AKBEdroom in the roadhouse

We walked next door to the drive in for some ice cream. Note Ronald McDonald on the porch. This was never a McDonalds! Bet there is a story behind that!

Next to roadhouse. Note Ronald McDonald

There were roadhouses all along the route from Valdez to Fairbanks. It depended upon the state of the trail as to how close together they were. Some were 10 miles apart, others farther. In the summer, people traveled in wagons. In the winter, they traveled in open sleighs. They were open because so many people became car sick. They would put blankets over them and they had coal heaters for their feet. Doesn’t sound like fun to me!

We continued north to Rika’s Roadhouse. This is the centerpiece of Big Delta State Historical Park, located at Mile 274.5 on the Richardson Hwy. The restored roadhouse was built in 1910 by John Hajdukovich, at the site of the Tanana River crossing of the gold rush trail from Valdez to Fairbanks.

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Above is the original barn and below is the roadhouse, from the front.

Rika Wallen, who had come from Sweden as an 180 y.o, was at Tonsina and walked to  Big Delta to go to work for John. John was away a lot ( gold mining) and he finally owed Rika so much in back  wages that he just signed over the roadhouse to Rika. It is on the National Register of Historic Houses and is managed by Alaska.

Rika's Roadhouse

This was also the site of Ft. McCoy, a military base during WWII. The ferry crossed here.

This is the ferryman’s cottage. There were a lot more buildings.

Ferrymans cottage Rika's Roadhouse

We continued north to MP 288. This is a wayside which allows overnight parking, so we are staying the night. Here is our awesome view!

Boondocking

MP 288, HWY 2, bookdocking

Boondocking

While traveling today we saw a mother moose with her calf, but as soon as we slowed down, she ran into the woods. No picture. Later, we saw a male moose, same thing, as soon as we slowed down, off he went. No picture. Finally, between Rika’s and MP 288, there was a male on the left side of the road and I was able to get this picture before he took off!

Moose, between Delta Junction and Big Delta AK

We had left Margie and Wayne behind in Tok. They had to have their brakes repaired and found that they need a new spring for the 5th wheel. The bad spring had caused one of the tires to wear. So they are having these repairs done. We will be meeting up with them in Fairbanks on Sunday.

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