An uneventful drive of a little more than an hour from Deadman's Lake and we arrived in Tok. Tok seems to be the junction for a lot of roads, which we will explore later. It is also the first grocery store in Alaska and first cell phone signal! I called mom to let her know where we were, and sent messages to the kids. We are staying in an RV park that has Wi-Fi, and truck and RV wash. Everyone stopping here has very dirty rigs from that last 100 kilometers of Canada which has a lot of frost heaves, construction and gravel. The roads still are not nearly as bad as we had expected, but some people have complained about it. At any rate, the car and RV wash is a very popular thing.
Live entertainment tonight was the owners’ son playing his guitar and harmonica. He did a good job and had fun interacting with the audience. He told us how he has grown up around here. He said they had to wait for a school bus at 50 degrees below zero. They don’t close the school until it is 55 below. Can you imagine?
The evening was topped off by dinner next door at Fast Eddy’s which was decently priced and plentiful. A nice Salmon dinner with warm bread, baked potato and salad bar. Great stuff! Now I am sitting here typing this, and it is still light outside, but by the clock I see it is 1130 at night. No wonder I am getting tired!
We got up a little earlier than usual so we could see a few sites in Tok before the 11 am check out time. We stopped by a gift shop and stalled for time while we waited for the visitor center to open. In this gift shop, which was built like a log cabin, was a huge stairway and loft. All the balusters were made of burled wood. It was an interesting look. They also had a moose antler chandelier. We have seen several made of deer or elk antlers, but this is the first moose one!
At the visitor center I got loaded up with more information about what to see ahead of us. You can just never have enough information! I do recycle it as we pass through areas. A lot of time there is stuff like that in the laundry mats at RV parks. Another good place to look for information!
We drove the last 100 miles of the Alaskan Highway to Delta Junction. The END of the Alaska Highway! WooHoo! It was 1422 miles. What a great ride! At the visitor center we took a picture of the sign, and got a certificate of completion! Yay!
Next to the visitor center is Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum. It is an original road house from 1905. It is one of the few remaining roadhouses. These were set up about 20 miles apart, so that early prospectors and trappers could have a place to stay while enroute on an old trail between Valdez and Fairbanks. There were some interesting displays inside.
Next to the Sullivan Roadhouse is the Buffalo Center Drive In. There we found buffalo burgers and fries. Good lunch! And next to that…..a Quilt Shop. Unfortunately it was closed on Sunday. I think Mike knows this so drives at whatever speed necessary to avoid quilt shops when open. He has an uncanny knack for finding them closed! But I have still managed to find more than I need so I am not complaining!
We found out we have a little problem with the trailer that will need to get checked out. It is only about 90 miles to Fairbanks so we will head there tomorrow. For tonight we are staying at an Alaska State Park called Big Delta State Historical Park. There are several buildings here. It has an old roadhouse (Rika's)and homestead. Besides the roadhouse, barn, sheds, and old telegraph office and ferry tenders home. There is even a garden and chicken coop here. It is along the Tanana River. Pretty place. The camping is in their parking lot. Not that pretty but cheap. I walked through the woods to a geocache. A lot of Quaking Aspen here. Aspen grows on runners so that each stand of aspen, can grow trees of identical genetic material. This makes them all leaf out the same time in the spring and turn yellow the same time in the fall. Sister trees!
Tonight we have our first view of the Alaska Pipeline. In fact it is only about 40 feet from our camper and we can see it from the window. Cool!