Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44DELTA JUNCTION GUIDE 19 Rikas Roadhouse was the site of the Tanana River crossing of the Gold Rush trail from Valdez to Fairbanks. Del- ta Historical Society operates a museum in the old blacksmith shop displays at the museum include period photographs and collections of pioneer and Native Athabascan artifacts. A private concessionaire operates guided tours a gift shop and limited food service. Parking toilets and picnic sites are also available. Overnight camping is allowed. Rikas Roadhouse Caf and Gifts operated by Smiling Moose of Delta Junction is open daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from May 15 through Labor Day. The caf serves homemade sandwiches soups pies ice cream and baked goods. The gift shop spe- cializes in Alaskan-made gifts including fur jewelry knives baskets photography glassware soaps and honey. To contact Rikas Roadhouse Caf and Gifts call 907-895-4201 during the operating season or by cell at 507-884-9103 outside of the op- erating season. Big Delta State Historical Park is a 10-acre park with 23 RV camping sites in the parking lot development. Facilities in- clude picnic area toilets water and a dump station. The park is located eight miles north of Delta Junction at Mile 274.5 of the Richardson Highway. The history of the Richardson Highway is rooted in the days of the Gold Rush. Work was underway in Valdez to estab- lish a trail from that port to Eagle on the Yukon River so that Americans would not have to pass through Canada to reach the gold camps in the Middle Yukon River area. But in 1902 Felix Pedro discovered gold near Fairbanks and it became more im- portant to get to Fair- banks. The trail from Valdez to Fairbanks was a difficult route and the present highway follows much of it. In other places the old trail can be seen winding along mountainsides or stream- beds above or below the Richardson. When the Alaska Road Commission was established in 1905 Maj. Wilds P. Richardson was its first president. He as- signed top priority to upgrading the Valdez-Fairbanks trail. By 1907 it was developed to a wagon route and a stage plied the trail with horse-drawn sledges in winter and wagons in sum- mer. The highway eventually came to be named for Richardson who had promoted the improvement of the original trail. To- day only a few of the old roadhouses still stand along the route. They were established about a days journey apart which was usually 30 miles or less. Today it feels to the Alaska-Highway traveler that the road to Fairbanks from Delta Junction is part of that long journey that started at Dawson Creek.Fairbanks says it is at the end of the highway but the familiar mileposts end at 1422 at Delta Junction.As one drives north from Delta the numbers start at 266 numbering from Valdez the start of the Richardson Highway. richardson hwy. rikas roadhouse all- american route gold rush hospitality