Parallel Destinies: An Alaskan Odyssey
Parallel Destinies: An Alaskan Odyssey

Parallel Destinies: An Alaskan Odyssey

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Parallel Destinies is the North's history in a microcosm, from wilderness to modernization. Through Montenegrin fur trader John Hajdukovich, Swedish roadhouse owner Rika Wallen and Interior Natives, Alaska evolves from trail to highway, from runners to telegraph and telephone. Researched in Montenegro, Sweden and Alaska, Parallel Destinies has archival photographs on every page as well as maps. Rika's Roadhouse, a lodge built in Big Delta in 1914, was the hub of civilization between Fairbanks and the Canadian border between 1904 and 1942. John Hajdukovich, a Montenegrin, and the builder of Rika's, was the law, a trader and the life support system to the Natives of the Upper Tanana River. Hajdukovich was a force behind the 1930 Tetlin Indian Reserve and was the Interior's best-known big game guide. Although never a successful miner, Hajdukovich prophesied there were enough minerals in the Goodpaster (home today of Pogo gold mine) and Tanana valleys to support generations of residents. A sort of John Muir and Johnny Appleseed personality, Hajdukovich was a father of today's Tanana River Valley economy. A lone female, Rika Wallen kept a wilderness roadhouse, home base to Hajdukovich, which she ran 1917-1950s. She depended on the rabbits she shot, her garden and fields, apiary and dairy. Parallel Destinies is the parallel stories of the immigrants and Alaska Natives, a young land growing up.