Into the Wild

They call him Slim for a reason

The adventure of the day was provided by Slim. It is his first winter here at the lodge and he is a bit thin. He eats well, but he is also tall with skinny legs. Did I mention that he is a horse? He probably will do well on the long rides to remote camps through brush, thickets and swamps. Good for him, not every horse wants to be a pack horse.

Slim and buddy 'Duke'.

Slim and buddy ‘Duke’.

Anyways, our good ponies are trained to show up in the corral at 10 o’clock sharp for breakfast. There were only a few days in the dark of winter, when they were late because the cold or a howling wind would have them stay sheltered outside in the forest. All the horses greeted me this morning with a “Good to see you. I am hungry”-whinny, except for one: Slim. He wasn’t there.

A horse missing breakfast is usually not a good sign. So Buckeye and I went out and started looking for Slim. He could be stuck somewhere in the slushy snow, a bear or some wolves could have gotten him, or he simply cold have found some food in the woods. Today we were lucky. Nothing bad had happened. We found him standing inside the old generator shack, which burned down a couple years ago. The shack is filled with old electric panels, beams, and stuff. The roof and the windows are gone. The walls of the shack are still standing with the door frames intact.

We had stored hay in the shack that was left for us by the Iditarod mushers. Over the last couple of weeks we had fed the hay to the horses. There was no hay to speak of left. However, for Slim it was enough to somehow get inside the structure. We have no clue how he did it. He is way too tall to walk through the doors. And the snow is way too deep for him to step over the sidewalls. But there he was. Anxious to get out, but no exit. He poked his through the door a couple of times, but that was it. His shoulders were 2 feet above the door frame. He would have to get on his knees and crawl out of the cabin. Right…

What to do?

Buckeye came up with the solution. Alaskan style. Chainsaw! He tied up Slim inside the cabin so he would not jump around, got his chainsaw and cut through 5 rotten logs. Voila. It did not take long and Slim walked right through the opening.

He went straight to the corral for his second breakfast.

Just another day at the office.


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