This is my fourth International Horseback Adventure, to bring in new horses to be added to Pioneer Outfitters range horse herd in Chisana, Alaska.
The horses were unloaded, fed and watered. Gear sorted and camp made at Sanpete, a historic WWII sawmill and machine shop. Dinner was a Buckshot Betty specialty ~ Pizza! Trails are being looked at as I sit here, in our home-away-from-home camp, trying to find the words to bring you along on this Adventure.
Tempers are short.
The tensions are stemming from two directions. One, our guests and clients are in Chisana, Alaska waiting for our return (and the additional horses) and two, as we get closer to departing into the ultimate untamed wilderness, the dangers that await are becoming more real to the two Alaska Guide Trainees chosen to be part of the 2013 Team to successfully (and safely) accomplish this arduous journey.
The bruises earned working with these new horses are in full bloom and each morning begins with a pitiful moan and a couple of groans. (Yes, the whining has begun.)
The first plan and the trails we intended to use are a complete no-go. The Beaver (Beaver Creek) waters are down from the flood stage that they have been at for the last two months, which is great news, but the insane and incredible heat of the continuing Summer has made the bogs even more treacherous than normal.
Walking the trailhead on foot was enough for Master Guide Terry Overly to veto any ideas about heading into the wilderness from that direction.
The next four hours were spent moving camp and all horses to the next trailhead, which is where I sit now, Sanpete Creek, 22 miles away.
An invitation to a special BBQ and surprise birthday party with Yukon friends and locals was a great way to simply relax for a small part of time while pushing away the thoughts of the dangers we would be facing soon.
It had been another long, hard and frustrating day, but one thing repeats itself over and over in my mind as I listen to my own Team and the people surrounding us laugh together: We are so Blessed. The life we live, absolutely, is a wild dream come true. But more, the people we encounter along the way are the true blessing.
To follow along and read more about our amazing 2013 International Horseback Adventure, stay tuned! Below I have also listed the previous installments to our 7 week Adventure, in order, so you can come along on this great journey with us.
- The International Horseback Adventure
- The International Horseback Adventure, Part 1
- The 2013 International Horseback Adventure, Home At Last
- The International Horseback Adventure, New Horses