Working Hard ~ or~ Hardly Working

Are we working hard or hardly workin’? That is the question, isn’t it?

This is the point and fact of our lives in the remote interior of Alaska as Professional Guides. You have to love it. Or you just don’t do it. Lucky us, we do love what we do.

Working Hard or Hardly Working… you decide!

A rescue mission, bringing home Lonesome, a Chisana born range horse. At 24 years old, this winter has been hard on him. Master Guide Terry Overly’s crew along with our Alaska Guide Trainees enjoy what they do, how they do it and where.

I am working on a better slide show for you all, but as I have been so busy the last few days and haven’t posted, I thought it was just as important to show you what we have been up to.

The Winter Range for the older horses is only about three miles away, across the river. The weather has been so squirrelly this year (and last) that we are into full-blown Spring a good six weeks early.

A little history…

Lonesome lost his Momma at two days old. Orphaned, Master Guide Terry Overly’s guides brought the baby colt home wrapped in a jacket. Unable to convince the traumatized colt to take a bottle, the crew returned to the Lodge for lunch and to pow-wow what they would try next.

Not even considering there was any danger, the boys had left the tiny baby in what they thought was a safe environment for the little guy, inside the old barn, laying on a thick bed of hay.

As the crew returned to the barn with another warmed bottle, they suddenly gasped as one, froze, and took off at a dead run in the next second…. Old Twister was sticking his head out of the barn doors!

The well-feared, kicking, biting, nasty old gelding that had never been able to be ridden (for more than about 5 seconds) was inside the barn with the helpless colt!

Well, from what I have been told, the picture that was never taken of the guides all lined up outside of the big double doors was a sight to behold. Shocked, open mouthed and staring, not one of them could believe what was in front of them.

The colt was nuzzled up against old Twister, jabbing at his male parts hoping that his mother’s milk would appear. Twister standing there as if he were everyone’s favorite old barn horse and rubbing his face on the tiny colt. Twister, the horse that could kick a horseshoe with 3 nails off this hoof, and imbed the shoe with nails into the wall of the barn wall, standing there as if being a surrogate mother wasn’t unusual at all.

Seeing what was happening, Deb Overly immediately took the newly warmed bottle of milk and went to the other side of Twister to reach under him and offer the colt the nipple. He took it!

Life is a blessing. Everyday.

Working Hard or Hardly Working….

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24 Responses to Working Hard ~ or~ Hardly Working

    • On one hand, I feel terrible that I have missed so many posts these last few days. Not only my own, but all the communities and groups we and I belong to… but the sun IS still shining, and there are no new giant cracks in the planet so I suppose all is well.

      Getting Lonesome home was the priority. Taking pictures and videos to share was part of the “job” and all the fun we had? Well, that was just a bonus! There are two more that I want to bring home before this early Spring rots the ice, but the others are all doing good.

      I hope to make a better slide show as the videos didn’t play (as they were supposed to!!), but I didn’t want you to think I had abandoned ship!

      Much Happiness!
      ~ Amber-Lee

      • You abandon deserved! to go play hookey from the puter and online needed to get OUT!!….well it wasn’t even that were working! (missed you though) lol… I was amazed how much water was on’s still snowing today here..sigh…glad you got Lonesome home..looks like play, but I know it was a lot of work! Love the Flickr slide show..looking at it now!!!!! It’s just Awe inspiring how pretty!

  1. What a wonderful story. Animals have an inate ability to nurture those who are in need. I this why you named the colt Lonesome????
    keep em comin Amber-Lee. Love to hear and see your adventures in Chisana, Alaska.

    Your friend,
    Sandi Hill

    • This is exactly why he was named Lonesome… He was my first horse, here in Chisana. Fast, incredibly strong and feisty as all get out…
      Last year he was put on our “Retired” list to be available for only children or small adults… when we were bringing him home this last week, it was discussed and decided he will be Bella’s horse this year. Lonesome taught Zach all he needed to know and I trust him to do the same with my little Alaska Chick-let.

      Thank you for being here, Sandi!
      Much love & I hope your Winter cold goes away soon!

  2. Oh My God!!!! Your slide show is freakin Awesome!! I so love this time of year…. and if I may say… guys play and work well together. Your horses are very luck to have humans like you.

    What an Alaskan treat!!! Wish everyone could see this…Amber-Lee you captured the trip beautifully….WOW…..thats all I can say….

    just WOW!!!

  3. Have I mentioned you’re my favorite outdoor sistah like EVER? You know you are and it’s the little things like posts like this that make it true.

    I read your posts in batches (I even have a special Google Mail label for your posts so I don’t lose track of them).

    This one definitely warranted a message; because you know me so well!

    Well done!

    • Thanks Carrie!
      We were actually chatting about you, Zack, and your friends coming in 2014 and what we would like for YOU to experience, while we were taking breaks from play!

      The day-to-day life out here is an Adventure all its own, but sharing it with others? THAT is Adventure!

      I knew you’d like to visit the horses with me, so I am glad you stopped in.


    • Hey Jack!
      I am glad to popped in! I hope you know if there is ever anything you wonder about, just ask. I’d be more than happy to share with you what I can!
      ~ Amber-Lee

  4. This whole multi-media blog post is awesome, Amber! Very well done, miss.

    Love your writing and would really love to see you do video :o

    Live prime-time Amber!

    • Mark! Am I the ONLY person on the planet that really detests video?! LOL…

      Sigh. okokok! I will make an effort to give you what you want!

      The video clips that took, FYI HOURS to cultivate, from the videos out on the ice…. didn’t play! Neither in this slideshow using Animoto nor in Flickr! (I know this, because I worked on both!) Does anyone have any insight as to WHY?

      Thanks for the push, Mark, I will work on it!
      ~ Amber-Lee

  5. Yes Mark……Live prime time Amber…..Yay!
    Exceptional use of a camera…..
    Keep working on those videos honey…..I can’t wait!

    • These photos were definitely a team effort. My Nikon is my third baby and almost as important! I try to make sure all of the trainees can use it and use it well, as I am often in the thick of what ever may be happening and my camera gets lonely. (LOL!)

      The videos were all taken on these last few days with Kaleb’s (Pioneer Outfitters Guide Trainee) GoPro video camera and he has us all excited how easy and light the camera is and how clear the videos were. Kaleb, Wesley and Costen were all taking pictures and Kaleb and I took turns wearing his camera.

      I now believe I need to own at least two GoPro cameras myself!
      We’ll see, Sandi. I promised the world we would start making videos so that you all would be able to see us in “real time” so I suppose I better get at it!

      Thank you for being back!

  6. You betcha girlfriend. Forgot to mention how very much I enjoyed the concept of towing a freight dogsled behind a Polaris snowmachine……your own Alaskan version of “water skiing”. Looks like so much fun…..imagine its pretty wet tho if you are the skier…lol. Would LOVE to see it in “real time”…….
    Don’t fret Amber…you will find a way….after all you are a “master guide”. Miss the sound track.. just sayin..

    • I with ya’ll..I LOVE the videos..but the photos are just, well, WoWza too. Real time is cool did a few!!
      We’re patient…sort of ..big smile!

    • LOL, Yeah we are still working on it.

      ….Wanna hear a surprise? The “Old” “Boys” (that is what we call the crew of Guides) made a sail and attached it to two old skis a LONG time ago… well, the lil’ boys have been given permission to dig it out and will be rebuilding it.

      THEN we’ll see what they think of that! LOL, I’m gonna make them wear helmets, don’t worry (all you mom’s)!

    • Hey Jayme!
      I don’t have a clue what it is… just that we are gaining sunlight by the bunches… The weather and the seasons are NOT my job. Ha! It was -30*F this morning… warmed up to +27* again today! For the last three years, the weather has been in God’s and that witchy woman, Mother Nature’s hands and I personally think she’s pissed.

      Yes, it feels as if break-up is happening right now… at LEAST 6 weeks early…

      I am glad you stopped in! I have posts in progress for here, for Happy Friday and for #bealeader so I am working hard! (NOT hardly workin!!)
      Big Smiles and Hugs to you Chickie!

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