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  • Day18

    Made it to the North Pole!!

    June 2, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Before I tell you about today's travel I wanted to show you what it looks like at 3:00 in the morning - see photo 1. The length of day is 20 hours and 36 minutes and the length of visible light is 24 hours meaning it really never gets dark like we know it. We also met a couple from Delaware at the Tok Campground. We spoke with them and found out that they live in Lewis - a town about 30 minutes away!! Also, I wanted to tell you something else about Chicken. At Chicken they have no electric or running water! All electric to run the cash register, lights etc. are with provided by a generator. Water is brought in - no flushing toilets - just out buildings. And, no cell phone coverage.

    We left Tok and headed north-northwest to Fairbanks, our most north location we will be staying at. We are actually staying at a campground just outside of Fairbanks proper in a town called North Pole. About halfway in to our trip, outside of Delta Junction, we stopped at Rika's Roadhouse. The roadhouse is named after Rika Wallen, who acquired it from a man called John Hajdukovich and operated it for many years. It became a hub of activity in that area of the interior. With the construction of the ALCAN (now Alaska) Highway and the replacement of the ferry with a bridge downstream, traffic moved away and patronage declined. The roadhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The roadhouse was built on the banks of the Tanana River. The Tanana River was one of the major rivers to be crossed by travelers along the Valdez-Eagle trail. A ferry was established just upriver of the Tanana's confluence with the Delta River. Several log cabins housed the telegraph office, a dispatcher, two repairmen and their supplies. Rika eventually became the postmaster and served in that position for many years. Last year, he Alaskan government wanted to end its support of the Roadhouse so a family from Delta Junction (a city just down the road) purchased it and now runs it. The Alaska oil pipeline crosses the Tanana River not far from this location also.

    The campground is located on the Chena River. The Chena River is a 100-mile tributary of the Tanana River. It flows generally west from the White Mountains to the Tanana River near the city of Fairbanks. We took our camp chairs to the river bank and enjoyed the view. We were surprised at how fast it flows.
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