Hitting the Trail in Alaska

It is something that goes through my mind, often. The fact that all we do, prepare for and work towards is rewarded in one result: hitting the trail in Alaska.

I wish for each one of you reading this to be able to experience the joy and inner strength that comes from the Adventures we have in our remote piece of the Alaska Mountains, but I am aware that this here, is as close as you may ever be.

It is with that in mind, that I share with you as many moments and feelings as I can put to words to describe what incredible gifts come from hitting the trail in Alaska.

Hitting The Trail In Alaska

~Joking, laughing, good natured ribbing between the guides and the guests of Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana, Alaska is on the trail.

Crossing the river is always concern, but I can admit to you that my feeling was of relief when I was told the river was low and channeled out.

We make good time with Thunder stepping out in front of the line… well, mostly good time as we end up stopping (a lot! Thunder walks really fast!) to let everyone else catch up.

{Just exactly why is it that people cannot just kick their horse that they are riding, at least to a reasonable walk instead of meandering around?!}

Boss flew over us, checking our progress, headed for our camp with a load of gear. As he disappeared over the trees, I hit the first patch of quicksand.

Calling back, to stop the line of clients and pack horses, we (Thunder and I) begin the look for an alternate route to get around and through the quicksand.

“Thunder, HEP!”, has him taking a tentative step, then another. (He really hates getting sunk or stuck~ go figure.) Three tries, and we find solid footing, the gang is moving out again.

~Now, people wonder, and some ask, “Are you ever afraid?” Well, sure I am (I am NOT new at this!) but somebody has to know what, why and how, somebody has to be calm and strong and understand what can and will happen as well as what and how to counter it.

So, our group, my trainee, our clients, three pack horses and myself cross the river and avoid any more quicksand. Up a steep bank that puts us instantly 30 feet above the river.

Leading Lucy, Boss’s saddle horse, without gloves, was a mistake I still regret.

Umm, I broke my middle finger on my left hand and tore it along with my pointer finger up pretty thoroughly. (yes, yes, I KNOW…duh.)

So, dripping blood, Thunder, Lucy and I headed down the trail to get out of the way of the string coming up the bank behind us.

Stopping the pack-string is just asking for trouble and with my first aid kit at the bottom of my saddlebags, I just decided to ignore it and to put my tight leather riding glove (yeah, yeah, I know) on (I was thinking the pressure would stop the bleeding) and kept moving.

There is nothing in the world (in my experience) like having someone come to us for whatever they come for, be it an Adventure, Excursion or Big Game Hunt, and see the awe and understanding one of God’s greatest gifts come into their eyes as we travel across this land.

Likewise, it is almost funny (only in hind-sight) to see the shock and horror come into their eyes as Thunder and I (and my freshly shaped stetson) get sucked and sunk into a bog!

I stayed out of it, keeping my seat, but my hat did not fare well at all.

Stepping off, and clear at the end of my lead rope, “HEP! Thunder, HEP!” and out he lunged.

Hitting The Trail in Alaska

Moving on, the last leg of the journey to our camp was comparatively uneventful, and as soon as we hit the creek and turned up I could already feel that familiar joy of being in and the knowing that this is my place on earth.

~What was today’s lesson? Hmm? WEAR YOUR DANG GLOVES.

Be on YOUR own Horseback Adventure!

Related posts:

Leave a reply