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Re: [RC] Alaska any one? - desertrydr1

Someone mentioned the Collins twins who wrote about their experiences with sled dogs and Icelandic horses in Alaska.  I lived in Fairbanks for 6 1/2 yrs, got my degree from the University of Alaska--Fairbanks.  When I was there, I met  the twins, and was good friends with their brother, Ray.  He was my best buddy at college's boyfriend,and we all did stuff together.  I have a copy of one of the twins' earlier books, Trapline Twins.  They ran a trap line near Lake Minchumina, northwest of Denali. 

The reason I came back to WA from Fairbanks is that it was totally impractical to even think about owning a horse up there, at least for a single woman with a young child.  Fairbanks is a totally different environment than the Panhandle.  Decades below zero winter temperatures, decent in the spring-summer, which lasts from Mid-May when the trees leaf out til mid-September when the snow starts to fall.  Actually I think Lake Minchumina may have even less (sorta) nice weather than that, since that's Fairbanks climate.  Lots of places in the Interior can experience wintery storms even in the summertime.  In the interior, most hay has to be imported from the lower 48 at a huge cost.  They do grow some nice grass hays southeast of Fairbanks, timothy likes cooler temps than alfalfa.

The panhandle has a much milder maritime climate.  They get a LOT of moisture, year around because of it.  It's also very mountainous, to the point that they build along the coasts, and that's it.  Wrangell is in/near the Tongass National Forest.  The terrain looked like it might have places you could ride.  Google Wrangell, AK and click through the different views. 

Every place in Alaska has a serious mosquito problem, in particular the panhandle, since it has mosquitoo-friendly conditions there.  I don't think they've had West Nile up there yet, unless it came up through British Columbia.  You'd definitely want to make sure your horses were UTD on WNV vacs.

Well that's about everything I know about the panhandle, except I took the ferry down to Washington twice through the inside passage, and both times I was seriously sick.  Once I was trying to get over pneumonia, the other time I had Salmonella or something, for over two weeks.  So I wasn't really paying that much attention to the horse communities in that area.  If you could get up around Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer areas, there's a fair sized horse community in those areas,  shows, clinics, you name it. 

Best of luck,  jeri

-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Sturm <sturmranch@xxxxxxxx>
To: ridecamp <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tue, Jul 21, 2009 9:01 pm
Subject: Re: [RC] Alaska any one?

There's a wonderful book written by twins Miki and Julie Collins about their experiences with their Icelandics in Alaska: Riding the Wild Side of Denali. It's good reading, available from Amazon. 
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[RC] Alaska any one?, vjhogen
Re: [RC] Alaska any one?, Raven
Re: [RC] Alaska any one?, Nancy Sturm