Months! It has been months since I have sat here to share with you what is happening here in Chisana in our lives with Pioneer Outfitters. I have thought about you all so often, and yet my mind is so full of what each today brings, all it seems I can do is hold on to the crazy ride that is my life.
Our schedule was more full than ever before with the Summer Horseback Adventures this year. After so many years of working to share the beauty and wonder of Chisana with the world and experiencing one, two or three Adventures each year, our 2015 Summer Season was a high-speed learning curve and incredible experience for everyone involved.
The shared moments and experiences will be treasured always. The instant that the person who is visiting truly feels that connection to the history, the magic and peace that is Chisana is an honor to be a part of.
Typically, our Summer Horseback Adventures much like all of Pioneer Outfitters Adventures, Excursions and Big Game Hunts, begin a year or at the very least months before our guest arrives in Chisana. These months before arrival gives both us here at Pioneer Outfitters as well as our guest time not only for our guests to ask questions and arrive prepared but for us all to begin forming a relationship and friendship that will take shape and grow once we come together for the Adventure taking place.
The Adventures that took place this summer gave us the moments and memories to share with you new experiences and thoughts through the long and dark winter to come.
Even though our Fall Hunting Season didn’t officially open until August 10 with Dall Sheep and Grizzly Bear, our season here at Pioneer Outfitters began with the arrival of Wild TV Steve Ecklund and his cameraman a few days before that. Filming permits granted and the b.s. the National Park Service invents to prevent sharing this beautiful land with the world dealt with, a whole new season of Adventures are rolling.
This spring, we had some very close encounters with Grizzly bears as they were waking up and being their generally curious and nosy selves. We shared those moments as they were happening on our nightly updates over on Face Book and finally here too on Alaska Chick’s Blog. But this summer, a Grizzly bear Momma took the prize!
Early (and I do mean early) one morning as a sleepy and not nearly caffeinated enough Nancy (our Lodge Mom) was heading to the Lodge as she does every morning, only about 200 yards away from her own cabin when she glanced up to see not the Boss (Master Guide Terry Overly), not his psycho dog Tootsie (as might have been a normal occurrence on any given morning) but a huge sow Grizzly Bear come running out of the arctic entry porch (enclosed, past the open porch) and head off down the trail.
Quickly deciding to let the guys make their own dang coffee or come and provide an armed escort, Nancy went home. When Nancy gave the details over to our team and they went to look at the tracks they were impressed by the 7.5 foot track but also made quite cautious by the other track next to it, measuring only just a little over 1.5 inches across (meaning that the track belonged to this year’s cub). Yes, “good grief” is a perfect response. Now the darn critters are inviting themselves into the Lodge!
The temperatures at night are dropping far enough that the leaves are already turning yellow and a fire is started each night at the greenhouse to prevent the freeze from touching the plants. Termination dust, what we Alaskans call the first snow to touch the mountain tops announcing the approach of winter, is coming for sure but for now we are having a nice fall… well, when it isn’t raining constantly!
OK! Back to work and I will get some of these “moments” written up for you all soon. Enjoy the photos, a bit of a tease for all that comes next. As I finish with more, I will add them to it, so check back soon!