Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fairbanks to Tok to Lake Kluane, YT

Rika's Landing Roadhouse, also known as Rika's Landing Site or the McCarty Roadhouse, is a roadhouse located at a historically important crossing of the Tanana River, off mile 274.5 of the Richardson Highway in Big Delta, in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States.
This place was a real surprise along the road from Fairbanks to Tok, AK.  Situated right on the river, and the Alaska pipeline, it was an important place for early users of the highway.  Below, Nancy caught me gazing over the vast delta, just above the tiny crossroads of Delta Junction.
According to the several storyboards here, this place holds a lot of the early history along the Alaska Highway.
Here is a pic of a pic of Rika herself, an immigrant from Sweden. 
Above, a small residence that Rika lived in while attending to the many tasks that required a lot of ingenuity & determination in order to keep her roadhouse open for the travelers.  To the left was a representative plot of her garden that she planted year after year and was a model of success for the U of Alaska to study how she did so well at it.
And yes, even the truckers of long ago didn't like being charged for carrying their freight to their destinations.  Below was the scales used to weigh their loads before crossing over the river on the ferry, and the top of the pic is the river.
Looking up-river at the pipeline and the former location of the ferry dock in the foreground.
An old safe...just outside of the maintained area, probably used for years by Rika.
And the old outhouse that has seen many a "bum"...and below, from inside the reconstructed roadhouse is a version of the highway's history.
and here are a few other artifacts from inside the roadhouse...
Above, an old iron workhorse that could tell many a story I'm sure...
Most folks are lead to believe that Fairbanks was the last mile, but oh contrare...it was indeed in Delta Junction...
And here is Alaska's state bird, the 'skeeter...attempting to bite me, but I escaped...:-)
And here are a few pieces used by the Army Corps & contractors during the construction of the highway.
 
Then it was time to motor on down the highway to Tok and a treat of ice cream cones from the wagon masters.  Yummy!
Let's see...what flavor do I want?  Rocky Road...yep...
Then after the overnight at Tok (and another Rig wash), it was time to drive back into the Yukon Territory, and Destruction Bay Lodge & RV Park at Lake Kluane.  Again, the wagon master treated us to a buffet dinner and entertainment by Diyet and her husband Robert.  The owner came after them and performed a poem he wrote many years ago, "Why Am I Here in the Yukon"?...nice recital, and then he strummed out a few tunes with is guitar and his baritone gravely voice,,,,again, nice job...
Diyet singing one of her songs.  She has two CDs to her credit.
Well, it rained all night and into the morning as our overnight stay at Destruction Bay came to an end.  Their is a story behind the name of this place, and it can be googled.  OK, that about wraps up this blog from Fairbanks to Tok to Lake Kluane.  So, from Teslin, Yukon, RVing Beach Bums going night-night and headed for Watson Lake, YT in the morning.  Next two blogs will be about our three days in Skagway, Alaska.  Stay tuned...