Settlin' in to vacation mode
Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
74Trip End Sep 24, 2010
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We filled gas and emptied the septic tanks at a local gas station and then headed up the last stretch of the Alaskan Highway for Delta Junction where it ends. We saw our first glimpses of the Alaskan pipeline and started learning some of its history. We stopped at the visitor center at Delta Junction to take our picture by the terminus of the Alaskan Highway. We didn't drive all of it but will cover most of the remainder on our return trip in September
Most of the visitor centers through Canada and now in Alaska have a gift shop and some kind of museum with them. It gives one an idea of the local history and I'm guessing the gift shop provides some of the revenue for their tourism promotion. They seem to have well-trained staff so are doing a good job with what they have to offer. I'm getting ideas for our Hazen CVB and ND Tourism.
Our next stop was Rika's Roadhouse which is a National Historic Site as well as a restaurant, gift shop and 24-hour RV Parking. We planned to stay there until we realized that the RV Parking was in the parking lot. Nonetheless, we decided to stay and enjoy the site for a couple hours anyway. The Roadhouses were built all along the routes of the Alaskan Highway and Railroad during the construction phases for the workers to stay. Most often they were then converted to other uses, usually as a motel. Many included a general store or a post office or a bar or whatever seemed to be needed in that area. This one had an interesting history and we learned much about Rika, a Swedish immigrant who purchased it from the original owner and lived there until her death in 1969. There were several outbuildings furnished with "old stuff" so we wandered around them as well. We had treats at the restaurant and I tried their famous "bear claw" that was a pastry filled with an almond filling. It was delicious
Mid afternoon we drove on to find a place to stay for the night. We chose Quartz Lake State Park that was about 15 minutes up the road. It was busy when we got there as it was Sunday afternoon but most of the people left as evening came. They had a campground host couple and there was a concessionaire that rented boats, etc.
We had seen in the brochure that there was a u-pick farm that sold berries and garden vegetables so decided to check it out. We found it but no one was there. I finally got their voicemail that said they didn't have anything ready at the time. We did drive around the area some to see the flat land that had been cleared in order to plant small grains. Wayne recognized the barley fields. It seemed odd after seeing just mountains and trees for days on end. We ate supper at the local drive-in, one of only a few eating places in Delta Junction. On the way back we saw a cow moose and her calf in a pond by the road. It was our first moose sighting so we were excited about that.
We then walked the Cabin Loop Trail that was over to a nearby lake, along the shore past a cabin that could be rented and back to Quartz Lake. We got back in time to get the deck of cards out for the first time on this trip. We played a couple games of 2-handed pinochle before going to bed.