Articles

Horseback Riding Alaska in Cooper Landing

October 12, 2019


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>>cf2 DARLEY: Next, we’92re headed to Cooper
Landing to explore forests and glacial lakes with Alaska Horsemen’92s Michelle Donahue.
pardpardeftab720sa240qlqnatural f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: So Michelle, who are you riding? f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE DONAHUE: I’92m riding Ellie May today. My favorite horse. You’92re
on Harley. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: So you put Darley on a Harley? Laughs f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: Very fitting huh? laughs f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: Cooper Landing is an old gold rush area. During the 19th century,
gold prospectors, including Joseph Cooper, who discovered gold here in 1884, came to
this area hoping to strike it rich. Today, people still prospect here, but fishing is
the main attraction and the outstanding views. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: I mean look around you. Every corner you go around there’92s
another beautiful view. And you never know what wildlife you might see. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: And we’92re going up to see some beautiful views today? f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: Some of my favorites. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: I love the color of the water. It’92s so milky blue. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: It is. It’92s glacier fed. That’92s Kenai Lake. And the river goes
all the way to the Cook Inlet and that’92s where you catch the big salmon. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: We enter the Chugach National Forest. With millions of acres, the
Chugach occupies a land area the size of New Jersey. We’92re riding in a temperate rain
forest, with soft foliage and wildflowers beneath our hooves, but much of the Chugach
is covered in rock and ice. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: You notice on some of these trees you’92ll see a bunch of little’85
They almost look like bite marks. And I’92ve heard that those are from moose in the wintertime.
When the ground is covered and food get a little more scarce they actually will eat
the bark. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: They must have pretty strong teeth. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: Well they’92re a pretty strong animal. Laughs f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: Laughs. We’92re climbing up, up and up here Michelle. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: We are, but the view is going to be spectacular. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: I’92m already noticing good views. By traveling on horseback, we
travel quietly and unobtrusively through the forest, noticing the smaller things that we
may not have seen had we toured the area in another way. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: Michelle this is a beautiful spot. We’92ve climbed pretty high today. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: We have. This is one of my favorite places. This is Sheep Lookout
and if you notice the beautiful glacial carved valleys and the snow-peaked mountains. It’92s
absolutely beautiful. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: It’92s so dramatic. Here in Alaska and especially in this area,
I love just, all the lakes, the trees. It’92s gorgeous. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: It’92s peaceful up here isn’92t it. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: It is really peaceful. Yeah, they’92re is no one around. I see that
one little house back there and that’92s it. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: Yeah. Um this area became real popular, um, basically becase
of the gold found here. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: And are people still out here looking for gold. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: There are still active mines here in Cooper Landing. Actually, all
over Alaska, but here in Cooper Landing we’92ve got several active mines and people working
their claims. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: Any recent big finds? f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: No. laughs. No I think its just, um, people get gold fever and like
to get out there and get into the wilderness and enjoy this peace. I think it’92s more,
the enjoyment of what they’92re doing anymore than, really hoping for the big find. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 DARLEY: I guess it’92s a good excuse to get out here into nature. f1fs26 cf0>>
f0fs24 cf2 MICHELLE: It is. f1fs26 cf0>>DARLEY: For more video clips,
expert tips or to learn more about Equitrekking on PBS and equestrian vacations, visit Equitrekking.com.
f0fs24 }

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