Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 62--June 28, 2013

     Happy birthday to two special guys--Richard's brother, Ronnie and our baby boy, Brian.  38 years old today.  Doesn't seem possible.  Love you both and hope you had a great day.
     We finally left Fairbanks about 5:00 this afternoon.  We traveled 114 miles to a campground near the entrance of Denali National Park.  It took about three hours because there are forest fires causing smoke hazards and a patch of road construction we had to wait for the pilot truck to lead us through, but it wasn't too bad.
      We are only going to stop over here for the night, and tomorrow we'll be going into Anchorage to another friend's place for two days.  That friend, Tony, won't even be there, but when he stayed with us a couple of times last winter, he made sure Richard knew where his place was and even did arial views on the computer to show him right where to park.  He talked a lot about his place and I'm really looking forward to getting there.
     We had a really good time in Fairbanks, but I'm looking forward to cooler weather.  Where we are now is like 20 degrees cooler than Fairbanks.  There is a lot of smoke outside, but the mountains are beautiful.  Denali National Park is the park where Mt. McKinley is located.  Hope to get some pictures of the beautiful area tomorrow.

Until next time,

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 61--June 27, 2013

          Today I had planned to catch up many things because we hope to leave Fairbanks sometime tomorrow.  Every evening, I cook enough so that Lyle and Gene can eat with us.  After all, we are parked in their yard, so I feel it’s the least we can do.  I had everything I needed to cook dinner for us.  No trips to the store.  I intended to get my laundry caught up, clean the motor home, and organize it for travel.
          I was taking my time, relaxing in my nightgown, and catching up on emails.  I was talking to my cousin on the phone when Richard (who I thought had gone to town) sticks his head in the door and yells, “Are you dressed?”  I say no.  He says, “Put your robe on.  Lyle wants to talk to you a minute.”
          I disconnect my call with Sandy, and go put my robe on.  When I get back to the living room area, Lyle says he has a big favor he’d liked to ask of me.  I couldn’t imagine what it was, but I couldn’t think of anything he could ask that I wouldn’t do.  He told me that this friends Bernie and Connie Karl who own the Chena Hot Springs Resort, would be coming by around six with a couple the Karl’s were taking to the airport around 10:30.  Lyle wanted to know if he could show them our bus and if I would bake another cake like I did last night so they could have dessert and coffee.  I said of course.  I had planned to make a coconut cream pie for dessert, but I had everything I needed to make another George Peanut Butter Fudge Cake.
         Somewhere in the background I heard a voice say do you think they might eat dinner with us, too?  I swear I think Richard said it, but he swears it was me.  Not sure, but it was 12:30pm and they would be arriving about five and a half hours.  I put the cake on to bake.  Cleaned the bedroom. (I had to put the sorted clothes back into the hamper.  Laundry would have to wait.  I cleaned the bathroom and then clean the entire kitchen and set the table.  I made sweet iced tea.  I searched my freezer and cabinets.  I scratched my head and finally I faced the fact I’d have to go to town to the grocery store. 
          I did that and was back at the bus cooking by 4:00.  Dinner was ready at 6:00, but they were running a few minutes late.  By 6:30, everyone was filling their plates and bellies with Panko/apricot chicken, Kathy’s potatoes, fresh green beans, cracker salad, cream cheese crescent rolls.  Oh, yeah and Georgia Peanut Butter Fudge cake.  I was pretty happy.  It all went together as if I’d been planning it for weeks.
          Bernie and Connie and their friends Ty and Sarah along with us and Lyle and Gene sat for a couple of hours exchanging stories.  Bernie is pretty interesting and funny.  He told a couple of stories I feel would fit right into Bertie’s world.  I’ll save some of them for another day.
         After they left, Richard helped me clean the kitchen which was rough on him because his back is still a little touchy.  I was pretty tired from my cooking marathon, so I appreciated the help.  Around midnight, we decided to go to the Transfer Site one more time since we will probably be leaving tomorrow.  Check out the picture below.  It was inevitable.  There was the coolest Christmas tree complete with lights.  I admit it, I caved.
I’m also posting a few pictures of Lyle and Gene preparing salmon in jars to be canned in large canning pressure cookers.  It’s pretty interesting what they do to catch their limit under the subsistence program here in Alaska.  I’ve been researching online and talking to everyone I can about the way it all works.  Over the next day or two, I hope to do a blog about the fishing experience for resident of the state of Alaska.
Gene and salmon

Preparing salmon in jars to be canned.

Lyle putting lids on jars of fish
Getting ready to can them.
Until next time,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 59-June 25, 2013

Today I scored some alone time.  That’s a rare event, but I had some errands to run.  The first important task I did was to stop by Barnes & Noble.  Dirty work, but someone had to do it.  And, I was the person for the job.  Right in the middle of the store was a round fireplace with a large hearth around it.  All the over-stuffed chairs were filled with people reading and propping their feet up while the fire blazed.  I could just imagine that as my hideout when the weather outside was a little colder.  I loved it.  I picked up the other books in Sharon Sala's Rebel Ridge series.  I read the 3rd one first, ('Til Death) but it didn't matter that it was the last one.  It definitely stood alone.  I liked the other members of Meg's family and really wanted to know their stories, too.
Fireplace at Barnes & Noble
Fairbanks Alaska
Not far from where we are staying here in Fairbanks is the Large Animal Research Station at the University of Alaska. Each year, thousands of visitors take tours of the 134-acre site set up for nutritional, behavioral and physiological studies of muskoxen, caribou and domestic reindeer.  It’s a cool place.
This post isn’t going to be long because my evening was interrupted by . . . well, take a look at this picture of Mr. I Can Ride That Muskox.
Mr. I Can Ride That Muskox
Okay, so that’s not what really happened, but Richard thought it sounded more masculine than Mr. I Bent Over To Clip My Toenails and Pulled A Muscle.

For those of you who have asked--this is
what 3:15 in the morning looks like in Alaska
Until next time,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 58--June 24, 2013

          I hope you enjoyed the pictures of the Aurora Ice Hotel.  BTW, I learned something today from Lyle.  Believe me, I learn a lot from him.  He is a wealth of knowledge about almost every subject, and he makes it interesting to hear him tell the stories in his own words.  Everyone around here calls him the Old Homesteader.  Anyway, he said that the animal fur used for the seats in the bar is caribou.  Each hair is hollow and helps keep your tukus separated from the ices. 
          We had time to look around, then we were called into a very nice dining hall where we were treated to prime rib, baked halibut, baked potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers straight from the green houses where they grow vegetables all year round.   They had a sheet cake with a fisherman and stream.  They also had the neatest candle.  It spun, played Happy Birthday To You, and the center candle lights smaller ones on the petals. 

Birthday cake.  The red flower is the singing and spinning candle.
Dining Hall

Dining Hall
Richard said, "Close your eyes.  I have a big
surprise for you."  I turned around and came nose to nose
with Bullwinkle.
Lyle explaining something to Richard
Good Luck.  :-) 

Massage Hut
The healing waters of Chena Hot springs

          Today, back a Gene's house, the celebration continued.  We had fresh, fried halibut, smoked salmon, and all kinds of trimmings.  I fixed peach dumplings and bacon crisps.  Even though Lyle lives in Homer, he has heavy ties here in Fairbanks.  Friends and neighbors (also friends) came to Gene’s house to eat the yummy meal and visit with Lyle, who will probably be going home next week.  He always drives the eight hour drive by himself.   It was really nice to meet everyone and listen to the stories they told.

Lyle and his son, Gene

The Birthday Boy

Until next time,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 57--June 23, 2013

          Well, the big day we've been waiting for came today, and it was everything I'd hoped it would be and even more.  Lyle West celebrated his 97th birthday.  It was held at a resort outside of Fairbanks.  Chena Hot Springs Resort is located at the end of a road about 60 miles east of Fairbanks.  It is owned by friends of Lyle’s, Bernie Karl and his wife Connie.  They put on Lyle’s birthday party.  What a fabulous job they did.  Bernie is a fascinating man.  His mind must never stop working.  I’m going to put a link to the resort’s web site so you can read about his patents and all the things that go on there.  Chena Hot Springs Resort
          Bernie took us on a tour of the geothermal heated greenhouses, which produce lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes and other veggies for the resort’s restaurant and 45+ employees on a year-round basis with a few different types of fruit grown for good measure.  The tomatoes were some of the best I’ve ever eaten.
          The resort is truly a one-of-a-kind destination.  They told us there is nothing quite as spiritual as relaxing the in the healing waters of the hot springs, surrounded by the winter white landscape, sipping a ”appletini”  and watching the beautiful colorful show of the Northern Lights against the black sky.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  It does to me.  I post some of the pictures of the other buildings tomorrow.
          Chena Hot Springs Resort offers so many things; it’s hard to take it all in.  You can get a therapeutic massage, enjoy a new "do" at Shears to Chena hair salon, take dog sled or cart ride, and they also offer flight-seeing tours.  There are all kinds of fabulous activities offered year-round.
          Bernie also gave us a tour of the Aurora Ice Hotel.  It was magical.  It stays 25 degrees F. at all times.  Everything in there is hand carved from ice.  At one time you could actually sleep in there, but a government inspector came there one day and told Bernie he would have to install water sprinklers.  I personally think this inspector is related to the one in Jax who told me I couldn’t have more than 16 people in my barn at one time.  J  In my mind, I would think that IF a fire started the melting ice would take care of the fire.  Anyway, instantly, because that’s how Bernie’s mind works, he said to an employee that as of that moment, the ice hotel was no longer a hotel, it was now a museum.
          Anyway, I hope you can see the pictures well enough.  Their web site has lots of pictures too.  I’m going to break this blog into 2 days because I have so many pictures.  I'll also tell you about the big feast we were served in honor of Lyle.
Full-size knights jousting.  You can see one
completely.  The other only the front of
the horse.
Raised section of the lobby with tables
and chairs near the bar.  All ice.
Looking from the back to the front door
Outside of the Aurora Ice Hotel
Bed in one of the hotel rooms
A decorative rose sitting on a table
in one of the guest rooms
This is the bar.  The stools are carved from ice
and the seats are covered with animal fir

The Aurora Bar serves famous Appletini's in hand carved martini glasses.  Yes, they are solid ice glasses. 
Richard and I shared one.  They should be called "Buttini" because they
will put you on your butt in a few seconds.
My favorite Full-size jaguar on  what was once
the world's biggest chess board

Until next time,

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 54--56--June 20, and 22, 2013

June 20, 2013
                The last couple of days have been slow moving.  Well, I should say slow unless I’m going from the bus to the car, then I am at a full run.  Why?  Alaska has 27 different varieties of mosquitoes.  And they all have mastered the art of biting.  Yes, I say biting, because I refuse to believe that a stinger hurts that much.  Of course, everyone says that after you’ve been bitten, there are loads of remedies like milk and honey.  Well, I’m here to tell you that doesn’t work.  I’ve drank 4 glass of the mixture and the buggers continue to bite me.
          I found this mosquito trap.  It’s like a mini-bear trap.  They also sell mosquito skinning knives.  I was outside earlier, and as my head was surrounded by a swarm of the insects, I was reminded of the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds.  I swear I heard one of them say to another one, “Shall we eat her here or take her with us?”  I was in my bathroom earlier and when I looked into the mirror, there was this monstrous mosquito right in the middle of my forehead.  I gave myself a V-8 slap and killed him dead.  I may have a concussion, but I got him.  Here is a picture of him.  I’m going to take him to the taxidermist and have him stuffed and mounted.

Monstrous Mosquito I killed in my bathroom
         This afternoon, Richard and I drove across town to the Riverboat Discovery.   We’ve visited it several times and have taken the excursion down the Tanana River.  The people who live along the river become part of the excursion.  There is a pilot who takes off from the water in front of his house and flies around us, then lands.  We go by Susan Butcher’s home.  She was the second woman to win the Iditarod Dog Sled Race.  When we were here in 2003, she came out of her house and talked about her dogs and did a dog sled demonstration with the sled being on wheels.  When we came back in 2008, we learned that Susan had passed away from cancer two years earlier.  Her husband was carrying on the demonstrations.
          They also take you to a village which is set up just as the Alaskan Natives live.  They had beautiful fur coats.  It was very interesting.
          The Riverboat Discovery is a steamboating tradition that goes back over 100 years and five generations.  In 1898, Charles M. Binkley hiked the Chilkoot Pass with the stampeders.  It wasn’t so much after the gold as he was to jump at the chance to build and operate boats on the Yukon River.  He became a respected pilot and boat builder.  His son, Captain Jim Binkley, Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps and piloted and operated freight vessels on the Yukon and Tanana Rivers.
Discovery II
          In the 1950’s, transportation methods changed.  Most freight was delivered by trains and airplanes.  Captain Jim and his wife, Mary, began the excursion business focusing on their love for Alaska and sharing its culture with visitors.  Their business grew from the Godspeed, a 25-passenger vessel to the Discover III, a 900-passenger vessel.  Today the company is operated by Jim’s grandchildren, and Mary is still active in the business.

Tubes to raise the vessels out of the water for the winter
          I’m not sure you can see this picture very well, but what it shows are huge, metal tubes.  When winter approaches, the tubes are filled with water, which makes them sink.  The sternwheelers are floated over them.  Then the water is let out of the tubes, the rise to the surface, lifting the boats out of the water where they stay while the river is frozen.  After the spring thaw, the tubes are again filled and the boats go back into the water.

          They have a large gift shop complete with a cafĂ© selling sandwiches and hot or cold drinks.  They also serve salmon dip and crackers.  Every time I’m here I have to buy several cans of Captain Jim’s Salmon.  It is the best canned salmon I’ve ever eaten.  They have many recipes, but my two favorite and ones many of you have eaten at my house.  Here they are:
  All-time Favorite: Smoked Salmon Dip (As served aboard the Riverboat Discovery)

* 2 cans Captain Jim’s Gourmet Alaskan Smoked Salmon

* 8 ounces cream cheese

* ground nuts, or finely chopped parsley (optional)

Warm cream cheese to room temperature. Add two cans of Captain’s Jim’s Gourmet Alaskan Smoked Salmon, including skin and oil. Mix together with fork or in the food processor. Shape into a ball and refrigerate for two hours to blend flavors. Ground nuts or finely chopped parsley may be added for garnish. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. (Serves 12)


Captain Jim's Smoked Salmon Spirals

* 1 can Captain Jim’s Gourmet Alaskan Smoked Salmon

* 8 oz light cream cheese, softened

* 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

* 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

* 2 scallions, minced

* 1 tbsp fresh dill, minced

* 1 tsp paprika

* 1 - 2 tbsp small capers, drained

* 3 - 10 inch flour tortillas

Mix the cream cheese, lemon juice, scallions, dill, and paprika in a medium sized bowl until well blended and smooth. Stir in the capers. Spread each tortilla with a third of the cream cheese mixture, leaving a quarter inch margin. Using a fork, lightly mash the salmon into smaller bits and then spread atop cream cheese. Tightly roll each tortilla, pressing down as you roll. Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours. To serve, slice the rolls into half inch thick spirals, sparing the ends for your own enjoyment. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and garnish each with dill if desired. Makes about 30 salmon spirals.
     On the way back to the bus, we stopped at (say it with me) the Transfer Site.  Richard found a DVD player.  I’ll let you know if he ever gets it working, but in the meantime, it will keep him out of trouble.
Until next time,
June 22, 2013
          Here in Alaska, we are 4 hours behind home.  So when Ryan called this morning around 8:00, it was a little earlier than we usually hear from them.  I could hear Richard talking in the front of the bus and I was still in bed.  I knew by the sound of Richard's voice that something terrible had happened, but not to one of ours, but I hurried to him to find out what was going on. 
          Since our family business involves towing for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Highway Patrol, we sometimes know news before the television does.  An 8-year old girl had been abducted from our local Wal-Mart.  They had a description of the van from the cameras in the parking lot.  The man was apprehended fairly quickly at I-295 and I-10, but not quick enough. 
          When the Amber alert went out, a person who lives very near the Baptist church where my kids went when they were young and where many of my friends still attend, saw a white van in the church parking lot.  He called the police.  The police checked out the parking lot and found the little girl dead. 
          She was found about 8 miles from my house.  I don't even have words for how I feel.  I am heartsick and had an overwhelming need to hold my grandkids.  The really hard part is that the man had been released from jail three weeks ago, after serving time for sexual crimes against a child.  How does that happen?  Who failed this little girl?
RIP Charish Perriwinkle  (age 8)

Richard's big score for today--2 hardback Popular Science
books printed in 1939  Okay, I'll admit it--I'm becoming a
obsessed with the Transfer site too.

Until next time,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 53-54--June 18 and 19, 2013

This afternoon we went to a place we have visited on all our trips to Fairbanks.  It is the Pioneer Park (formerly known as AlaskaLand, but changed to keep people from thinking it was a DisneyLand experience).  To me it is a village of old cabins and buildings mostly built when Fairbanks was established.  The buildings have been moved from their original locations throughout the town and placed on several streets.  They now house eating establishments, museums, gift shops.  Most have a plaque outside that tells you who owned the building and where in Fairbanks it was moved from. 
Cruise-In on the streets of Pioneer Village

It’s fun walking the wooden sidewalks, looking in the windows or browsing through the merchandise inside the shops.  The Pick N Poke Shop had a stuffed Artic Wolf on display.  It is a beautiful animal.  Inside they sold chocolate covered peanuts, which they sold as moose poop.  They also sold real necklaces and earrings made of lacquered moose poop.  I bought several sets to bring back to friends and family members.  J  Get in line please.
Artic Wolf
 There was a Disney feel at the Palace Theater.  A long line of people rounded the building.  We didn’t go in for the show this time, but we have seen the live stage show about the settlers in Fairbanks.  As I remember it, it was funny.
The best part of the trip to Pioneer Park is the Alaskan Salmon Bake.  They used to have this all over the state, but I noticed on the way up, there weren’t as many as their used to be.  You enter the Salmon Bake through an underground mine shaft.  When you come back into the sunlight, you are greeted by trees and flowers and old mining equipment surrounded with picnic benches.  There are different stations set up outside the picnic area and the indoor dining hall.
Me at the entrance--Richard inside the mine shaft
Me trying to decide which food station to go to first.  LOL
You pay and are given a big plate.  You go to the first station which is a salad bar, roasted red potatoes, baked beans, sourdough rolls.  Then you go to a huge, circular grill where you can get all you want Prime Rib, grilled salmon, and beer battered Bering Sea Cod.  Then you go to the condiment station to get tartar sauce, horseradish sauce, etc.  Then to the beverage bar to get your drink.  After you finish with all that, you go to the coffee and dessert cabin.  There they had shortcake, sweet blueberries, chocolate cake and white cake with white frosting.  Everything was really good.  Usually we only go one time while we are here because the food is too good to say no to.  Not that I ever say NO to food, but you know what I mean.
Prime Rib, beer battered Bering Sea Cod, grilled Salmon

This is a cache.  It is an important thing in the Northland.  It is a small building placed high on poles which provides safe storage for food and supplies from bears and other wildlife.  You see them in many places through Alaska.

Cache on display at Pioneer Park
                Last night we were coming home from the store at around 10:30 at night.  This is how daylight it still was.  It is so strange to see so many cars, people jogging, adults and kids on bicycles so late at night, but it is broad daylight.  By the way, I am amazed at how many cyclists we see along the road.  I don’t mean in town.  I mean on the highway we came in on with stretches for miles of nothing but scenery and moose, bears, and buffalos.  Maybe I’m just a wimp, but even if I could physically ride a ten speed bike up a 7% grade, I’d be scared to death of the wildlife.
10:30 at night
          We have not made a trip anywhere in the past three days without going by the Transfer Site.  I swear Richard is addicted.  It is the craziest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  Every time we go by there, the front parking spaces are all taken.  We park second or third row back.  Tonight there was a washing machine and a two-piece sofa set.  I prayed really hard that Richard wouldn’t decide we couldn’t live without any of that.  You think I jest?  You have no idea how many times we’ve been driving home and pass a pile of junk and he would make me stand by the side of the road so no one could steal his treasure until he ran to the house to get his truck.  I’m not sure what the heck he thought I would do to stop someone from taking a window air conditioner or dining room chairs or a pinball machine with only 2 remaining legs.  Thankfully, I never had to find out.  Well, there was that one time Little Roy called and Richard talked to him and, although he says not, I think he forgot about me.
Vehicles lined in front of the drop off corner of the
Transfer Site
We arrived in Alaska just in time to see the thickets all along the highway and pretty much everywhere alive with wild roses.  Their fragrance is strong, but pleasant and fills the air when you are out walking or if you have your car windows down when you drive by them. 
Wild Rose Thicket right by the place we are staying.
           What are we doing tomorrow?  You don’t want to know.  It will ruin the image of me walking through wild rose lined paths, inhaling their romantic fragrance and basically living the life of a pampered woman.  However, I am sure Mr. Wilson will be taken lots of pictures.

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 50-52—June 15-17, 2013

I’ve taken a couple of days off from writing my blog, but not from enjoying the breathtaking views, talking with interesting people and learning a few new things.
We were welcomed to Fairbanks to the hottest weather in many, many years (if ever).  It’s been as high as 88, and that is hot back in Florida.   Hardly anyone has air conditioning in their homes or their cars.
We are parked at Lyle’s son’s place.  Gene has a nice piece of property and lives in a house Lyle build many years ago.  There are several things going on during the next ten days, and I’m happy to be part of it.  Richard is thrilled to a part of it!!!  He is like a kid in a candy store.
Last week, Lyle’s 74 year old son, Larry passed away in his sleep.  His wife, Vivian, invited Lyle and us over for pie and ice cream on Father’s Day.  There were five generations there.  The homemade pies were really, really good.  I loved their house, which Larry and Vivian had built.  There were several very beautiful pictures done in different mediums.  Vivian’s daughter, Cindy (Lyle’s granddaughter) had painted or etched them with pencils.
After talking to Vivian for a while, she mentioned that she ran a bed and breakfast in her home for sixteen years.  Since the new series I am working on takes place in a bed & breakfast in Georgia (cozy mystery), I was quick to pick her brain about the business.  I loved listening to the stories of some of her clients.  All the younger people went outside to play in the sprinkler.  Gene, Lyle, Richard, Vivian and I stayed in the family room with a nice breeze coming through the open windows and a great view off in the distance.
Vivian and I talked for so long that the three guys all went to sleep.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon.  She had a green thumb.  She had many African Violets, but I loved her orchids.  They were beautiful.
Vivian West Orchids

Monday the three guys and I went to Wal-Mart and Sam’s.  On the way back to the bus, Gene said he had something else he wanted to show us.  We pulled into a place known as a transfer station.  (I think that’s what he called.)  Anyway, it was a large, fenced area.  The whole perimeter of the area was lined with commercial dumpsters except for the back corner which had a concrete pad with a roof over it.  What happens here is when people have items to go to the dump they place them in the concrete pad area.  Other people come along and go through all the items laid out there.  It’s dumpster diving without having to dive into an actual dumpster.  I think this was the coolest idea.  Gene found a book and a Tijuana postcard from the 1920’s maybe.  He gave them to me.  I’m actually going to send the postcard to someone.
Richard at the Transfer Station

Gene and Richard discussing the many purposes of
the wheel they just found among all the treasures

Cousin Sandy:  You and Jerry would love the transfer station.
Monday and Tuesday I cooked for Lyle and Gene:  Slow cooker pork roast with rolled dumplings, pea salad, biscuits, and Hershey Bar Pie.
Tuesday:  Spaghetti and Meatballs, leftover pea salad, homemade focaccia bread, and banana pudding.
Let me tell you about the pea salad.  Everyone makes the layered salad where you put everything in a clear bowl (trifle bowl) and top it all with mayonnaise.  Then you dip down in a get a little of everything, but I’ve always found that most people don’t go down far enough in the bowl to get the whole effect.  My pea salad is a twist on that, but easier to dip up.

Dolores’ Pea Salad
Romaine lettuce sliced thinl
Green onions sliced thinly
Bacon fried crisp, crumbled
Tomatoes, diced
Shredded Romano cheese
Frozen Peas thawed
Mayonnaise thinned with a little milk
Mix everything together.  Chill until ready to serve.  This holds up well and can be eaten the next day, too.
Until next time,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 49--June 15, 2013

          We had a very nice drive today from Tok, Alaska, to Lyle West's sons place in Fairbanks.  We stopped for lunch at Rika's Landing Roadhouse in Big Delta. The roadhouse is named after Rika Wallen, a Swedish immigrant who came to work at the roadhouse owned by John Hajdukovich in 1910.  John had many businesses, but didn't have any money managing ability.  In 1917, John went away leaving Rika in charge.  She grew vegetables and raised chickens and milk cows for food to serve to travelers on their way to and from Fairbanks.
          Hajdukovick returned in 1923 and sold the roadhouse to Rika for $10.00. Rika was a natural farmer who was able to successfully grow crops where others failed. She developed a heating and ventilation system for her stable to allow her livestock to successfully survive the harsh winters.  The roadhouse had eleven bedrooms, a large living room and a large kitchen.  She continued to work it until the late 40′s. She lived there until she died in 1969. Today, the large, two-story house is set up like rooms in the roadhouse where many years ago.  (1920-1930)

Rika's Roadhouse, Big Delta, Alaska
Kitchen inside the Roadhouse
                                            Richard wanted me to drive the Jeep everywhere we go
                                             so he could tow this hunk of junk home.  I say Nay Nay!!
This is a kitchen set up in one of the out buildings
at Rika's Roadhouse
Sod roof cabin.  Outbuilding at Rika's.

          We ate lunch there (Lobster and Corn Soup, coffee, and FOTF pie) and then walked along the Tanana River. We got a good look at one section of the Alaskan Pipeline.

Alaskan Pipeline crossing the Tanana River


         We also stopped at Santa Claus' Haus at the North Pole.  You could tell Richard had been locked up with someone who doesn't listen to EVERY word he says.  He just about talked the ears off of Santa and some woman who had just returned from a tour to Prudhoe Bay.
          Happy Father's Day to all you daddys.  And thanks to all of you for traveling along with us.  We've had 5,235 page views since we started our trip.

Until next time,