We have an amazing podcast for you this week with one of the most incredible stories you will ever hear. We welcome Master Guide & Owner of Alaska Wilderness Enterprises Joe Letarte, to hear about his epic story of survival. Joe made the decision to move to Alaska when he was a young man with just $50 in his pocket. He tells the story of taking a wrangling job moving 4 horses & 3 mules across the Brooks Range, that quickly turned into a life or death situation, leaving him to fend for himself for 200 miles in zero degree temperatures. Joe talks about almost losing hope that he would make it out alive but never losing his will to survive. He also shares some other amazing stories of his Alaska journey, some of the inspiring people he has met along the way and his passion for guiding in Alaska. Hang on tight because this podcast will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
1:19- Podcast start & intro Joe Letarte from Alaska Wilderness Enterprises.
2:37- Joe talks about becoming a Master Guide and all the requirements it took for him to become #121 in 1993. - http://www.alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/activities/hunting/guided
5:24- Joe's background. Joe talks about growing up in the midwest in a small town, meeting his wife, and then deciding to move to Alaska with only $100 and hitchhiking to Seattle. He talks about once he got to Alaska, finding his first job and then living on the beach in a tent.
10:27- Joe talks about his journey once he got to Anchorage to be a wrangler while they were building the Alaska pipeline & how cool it was to see the towns that were built for the oil workers. - https://www.alaskacenters.gov/explore/attractions/trans-pipeline -https://aoghs.org/transportation/trans-alaska-pipeline/
13:37- Joe talks about 1 of the most famous Iditarod finishes between Dick Mackey & Rick Swenson in 1978 and then meeting Dick Mackey who owned a burger shop that Joe bought a $73 burger, chips & a coke at. - http://alaskasportshall.org/inductee/mackeyswenson-finish/
16:37- Joe talks about a horseback trip he took into Timberlake & meeting Colonial Eugene Witt who served under General George S. Patton in WWII and how much he inspired Joe. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/george-smith-patton
18:25- Joe talks about the homesteading days in Alaska and the crazy things he saw & heard about people fighting & killing each other over land. He also talks about homesteading his first home and building a cabin when he was just 24 years old for $48,000. - https://www.alaskacenters.gov/explore/culture/history/homestead-act
21:13- Joe tells the incredible near death story of wrangling for a man in the Brooks Range where he was left for dead with 4 horses, 3 mules and another wrangler, needing to travel 200 miles in zero degree temperatures. He talks about the ups and downs of the trek with the horses dying from hypothermia and almost losing hope that they would make it out alive but, never losing his will to survive.
34:20- Joe talks about his life after the near death experience in the Brooks Range and having a new appreciation for life. He talks about getting marries, raising kids and starting his guiding business. - https://www.wildernessenterprises.com/about-us/
37:18- Alaska Wilderness Enterprises. Joe talks about his guiding business and how rewarding it is. He talks about all the friends he has made over the years and how he and his wife helped many people get on their feet. - https://www.wildernessenterprises.com/hunting/
40:09- Joe talks about his family and life in Alaska.
45:06- Joe talks about all the guiding he has done with Alaska Wilderness Enterprises and the hunts that he donates every year including 2 at the Western Hunt Expo. - https://huntexpo.com/
48:11- Joe talks about losing his wife Vicki in 2016 and thinking his Alaska journey was over. After some time went by he realized that she would want him to continue doing what he loves in the place he loves. He also talks about starting a non profit in her honor to help wounded warriors.
50:23- Wrapping up and where to find Joe & Alaska Wilderness Enterprises. - https://www.wildernessenterprises.com/ - https://www.facebook.com/alaskawildernessenterprises - https://www.instagram.com/alaskawildernessenterprises