The International Horseback Adventure has a very long history. Longer than Pioneer Outfitters own history that began in 1924. There have been horses here in Chisana, Alaska since the time of the prospectors and explorers. The range horse herd than runs free in Chisana has always been part of Pioneer Outfitters and the Team here of Professional Guides.
From the Yukon to Chisana, Alaska, the International Horseback Adventure covers over 85-miles of the most spectacular, dangerous terrain of the wild North country.
Horseback Adventure in the Last Frontier was shared on Alaska Chick’s Blog and this is what the International Horseback Adventure is all about!
The International Horseback Adventure, Part 1 tells of leaving Chisana, in July 2013 for the next IHA (International Horseback Adventure). The innocence and honesty at the end of the post referring to the believed truth that the entire Team would return in less than a week is also very interesting.
For all the work that goes into the arranging, planning and implementing the International Horseback Adventure, there is absolutely nothing that compares to the feeling that is shared when you dismount, that last time, at the corrals here in Chisana at Pioneer Outfitters. All the notes taken on this journey, rain, sweat, dirt and blood spattered now must become posts to be shared with the world. This is the work of Alaska Chick’s Blog. Welcome home! The 2013 International Horseback Adventure, Home At Last was awaited for 7 very long weeks.
One of the first challenges that the International Horseback Adventure always, without fail, awaits is the meeting, understanding and training of the new horses, chosen to add to the range horse herd in Chisana. These horses are chosen for their builds and their attitudes. Both will help them to survive in the Alaska wilderness in the years to come and we choose carefully. In The International Horseback Adventure, New Horses, only days into our adventure, the bruises are already forming.
As days become weeks and after one natural disaster becomes another, tensions rise and tempers begin to fray. It is a wonderful thing to be able to stop and remember how blessed we all are. Old friends and new ones, perfect strangers met along the way are some of the biggest blessing in any life. The 2013 International Horseback Adventure, The Yukon celebrates, as we did, some of those blessings.
In any life well lived, we all have our doses of good, bad and ugly stuff to contend and deal with. The 2013 IHA, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is another reminder that well lived, we wouldn’t trade a moment of any of it. This is more than what we do at Pioneer Outfitters, it is who we are. “As we live our lives, we make our living.”
As one of the Ultimate Adventures in our repertoire, it was decided that the Alaska Guide Trainees would also be included on this cross-country Adventure. Leadership in the Yukon, written about leadership and the learning process that continues throughout a Leader’s lifetime, was taken from the interactions, actions and reactions of the Trainees accompanying us as well as some personal insight as their Trainer. Written for #bealeader™ it is an important lesson and hurdle for all young Alaska Guide Trainees to adopt and implement.
Weighing the consequences of each choice, every day, knowing that there were very good people waiting on us, worrying about us and hoping for our arrival ~ every day, didn’t make the choices any easier. Tough Choices, shares a few of those choices and reasons for those decisions with you. The bottom line always for every choice and decision we make is safety. People come first. The safety of the humans, the horses, the gear are always considered in every move that is made, but people come first.
So, as you can imagine, 7-weeks overdue pissed a whole bunch of people off. As one of the Team that was on this historic Adventure, I am unable to work up any shame. Disappointment, absolutely. Worry, certainly. But, I was there and there was not a friendly place. We got home as absolutely soon as we could.
However. Rumors fly, tempers flare, threats are thrown and enough is enough. The 2013 IHA, 7 Weeks MIA in the Far North says, let’s talk. Folks want to whisper and point but I was taught as a child it is best to just speak clearly and to the person’s face. So let’s talk.
The days were hard and endless. At times, the dangers and mishaps seemed to come one after another with no relief, no escape. There was one spot, one time, each day though, that everyone could just get their breath and regain a little equilibrium, shore up a little more strength and ready themselves for the day coming. Campfire Cures shares it’s magic with all.
On one hand, we thought it was the last day on the trail home to Chisana. The more reasonable part of my mind knew that we would never make it. Certainly not without serious injury, could we manage the last of the bogs and coming down the last mountain without horses that were already familiar with the trails. 2013 IHA, Big Willows tells you of the long night and the bittersweet thoughts of the Adventure we had endured.
So, it is dangerous. It is hard. It can actually be pretty miserable at times. It can also be exactly what you make of it. We are firm believers in the fact that you are as happy as you choose to be. Snow White and the 7 Dorks, IHA is just one example of this.