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Dispatch #1, Monday, May 2: Palmer, Alaska to Tok, AK: Embarking on (yet another) Trip of a Lifetime

Talk about good timing. Raudi’s new saddle arrived at the Palmer Post Office this morning. Pete drove to town and picked it up. It didn’t come with a girth but the one that I picked up at the Alaska Equine Auction, two years previously, fit just fine. Mariann Stoffel, who came over to say good-bye, tried it out on Raudi. Mariann (who’s a former hairdresser) clipped Jenna, who’ll remain behind with Janelle, our house sitter. The goats and chickens are now being cared for by Bill Schmidtkunz, who lives in Sutton, and Tinni is being tended to by Nilla Ekstrom, who lives in Soldotna. We loaded the horses into the trailer after lunch. They got in willingly, and why not? The new trailer (as opposed to the old) is roomy and well ventilated.

Jenna was left behind

A final goodbye to Jenna, and we were off. We stopped every two hours-or-so on our way to Tok and checked in on them. They enjoyed the breaks, and every time, stuck their heads out the windows and looked around.

On the road to Tok—mountains, rivers, and rolling terrain gives way to flat expanses and spindly spruce. Rainbow is panting andvery nervous about being in the truck. We’re not sure what the problem is. I put a body wrap first, and then a T-shirt on her—this didn’t help.

We spent the evening at Cindy and Chuck Miller’s place in Tok. Cindy made a nice dinner for us. We were embarrassed because we were later than expected. Nevertheless, she and Chuck greeted us warmly and helped us get the horses settled in their digs, a good sized panel corral. Pre-trip jitters are now slowly subsiding.