A personal letter from me, Amber-Lee DIbble, aka Alaska Chick, to you. #Stand4theManinBlack is about survival. It is also a testament of my faith in Social Media and faith in the world's humanity and compassion.
Alaska Bush Plane
Stand for the Man in Black
Please stand with me, we need YOUR help.
My name is Amber-Lee Dibble. I am
Alaska Chick and I deeply need your
I am a United States Navy Veteran and
have worked with Pioneer Outfitters as a
Professional Alaska Guide for over 22
years. Pioneer Outfitters has led
wilderness expeditions since 1924. Our
licensed guides live their lives and make
their living on horseback in the wild
terrains of Alaska.
I would like to take this opportunity to
introduce you to a fundraising campaign
that is vital to the survival of Pioneer
Outfitters, the community of Chisana,
Alaska and all those that come to the
Wrangell St. Elias National Park to
explore and discover that which brings
them to this vast wilderness.
Pioneer Outfitters is located in Chisana,
Alaska ~ deep within the Wrangell
Mountains of Wrangell St. Elias National
Park and Preserve, our nation’s largest
It is the site of the last historic gold rush
and at one time was the largest log
cabin settlement in Alaska – and it is
land that is only accessible by aircraft.
Led by Master Guide Terry Overly, a
United States Army Veteran, Pioneer
Outfitters has made other people’s
dreams a reality by introducing them to
the wonders of the Chisana wilderness.
Virtually untouched by 21st century
materialism, it is a magical landscape
infused with profound beauty –
mountains, fields, wildlife, flora and
majestic glaciers that redefine a visitor’s
sense of scale and size.
The plane was our only connection to
civilization, and its destruction has left us
stranded in the mountains except for
limited air deliveries of food, clothing,
mail, fuel, and feed (at .40 cents per
pound on freight).
We depend on these supplies for our
livestock, for our team members and
their families, for the guides that we
“Cubby” a Piper
Hero to many, the
most vital tool
The Man in Black
Timer in Alaska”
train, and for fueling the generators that supply power for the
Chisana community phone system.
But even more sobering is the fact, that without our plane, our
capacity for rescue and evacuation missions has been crippled.
Our campaign’s name is “Stand for the Man in Black,”
honoring both our 90-year history and Terry Overly, our
Master Guide who has never hesitated to “stand up for
Standing ready whenever he has been needed, Terry has
landed his plane in flood waters and rescued stranded
families; responded to calls for help when an elderly neighbor
is injured or falls ill; searched for and found lost hikers and
injured hunters; and rescued stranded snowmobilers in
freezing temperatures. He symbolizes the very best in human
We eventually plan to create bigger accommodations in
Chisana to bring in and facilitate larger groups to gather, study,
network and become personally strengthened by connecting
with the wilderness. And finally, we envision building a retreat
and an inn as a serene and peaceful getaway for people
seeking to commune with nature and appreciate the spiritual
aspects of the Alaska wilderness.
However, we are taking one step at a time. Our first priority is
our plane. Our immediate campaign goal is $250,000.00.
Every donation, whatever size, will be deeply appreciated.
Every penny goes towards this airplane. Above all else, we
need help to spread the word. I believe deeply that the people
of the world will help us save this historic family, business and
community. I believe that people are willing to help others when
we are willing to ask for help.
For more information about Pioneer Outfitters, feel free to
explore our website (http://pioneeroutfitters.com/).Visit us also
on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. With permission,
we will recognize our donors on our website, on social media
sites, and through press coverage.
If you have any questions at all, please email me at
email@example.com. Your generosity will help
lift us to the skies again!
Amber-Lee Dibble (Aka Alaska Chick)
Post Office Box CZN
Tok, Alaska 99780
Amber-Lee Dibble About Me http://about.me/amberleedibble
Alaska Chick’s Blog http://pioneeroutfitters.com/blog/
Pioneer Outfitters http://pioneeroutfitters.com/
Face Book Amber-Lee Dibble
Pioneer Outfitters, FB page
Linked In Amber-Lee Dibble
You Tube Pioneer Outfitters
Google+ Pioneer Outfitters
Pinterest Pioneer Outfitters
Pinterest Amber-Lee Dibble
Stand for the Man in Black
Stand for the Man in Black (Main fundraising page on
Fundraiser: Stand for the Man in Black (Page on Pioneer
Google+ Stand for the Man in Black
Stand for the Man in Black on FaceBook
Master Guide Terry Overly & Alaska Chick ~ My Boss, My
mentor, our leader and my best friend. The only father I have
ever known. “Papa” to my children. Hero to so many.
The launch of the fundraiser to replace the aircraft lost
to fire on September 16, 2013 has brought up a few
really good questions. The best and most critical
questions of all of them have been the “Why is an
airplane so important?” and others linking to it.
In September of 2013, our life-line to the outside world
and any hope of salvation to anyone or anything needing
of it, was destroyed with the fire that took the plane from
Pioneer Outfitters and the Man in Black.
Loosing this airplane did more than severely handicap
and hurt a 90 year old business, it took hope from those
of the Community that live in the remote Wrangell
Only accessible by airplane, Chisana is the site of the last
Historic Gold Rush of 1913 and was at one time the
largest log cabin settlement in Alaska. Located deep
inside the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve,
our nation’s largest Park, Pioneer Outfitters has been
family owned and operated year round since 1924.
We are now depending on a twice weekly mail run to
deliver mail, fuel, groceries, clothing, supplies and animal
feed on a space-available basis and at an additional .40
cents a pound.
The hard fact is between the additional cost and the sad
truth that the air service cares about nothing but profit,
carrying a minimum of what could be carried in the
aircraft, is doing more damage to our efforts to rebuild
than the fire itself.
The airplane is important because it is a lifeline and
salvation, as it has been proven many times. There is no
predicting when an emergency will occur. In only the
years I have been with Pioneer Outfitters (22 years), the
average times a human has required emergency
evacuation is once to three times a year.
The average times Terry has been called upon to locate
a missing person, hiking or snowmobiling, during the
summer or winter months is between 3 and 6 times a
year. The average amount of times Terry has been called
upon to locate horses (our own or other people’s) is
between 5 and 10 times a year, not counting the flying
done to keep track of our own range horses during the
winter months, which numbers in the dozens each year.
Some people may think, this isn’t very often, to justify
such a need. I would ask those who think so, to consider
if one of those times was for one of your own. We
consider it our duty. Because we have the ability to help,
it is our duty to provide that help. Helping only one single
human being makes every moment worth it to us.
The airplane is important because with it, the Man in
Black flies all of our fuel into Chisana himself. When he
was flying the fuel in, there was never a lack. Now, even
with the community’s help, donating and borrowing fuel
for the generators to keep running, from their own hard-
gotten stores, the power has gone off.
The power provided by the fuel flown into Chisana keeps
the phone system here running. Without fuel, there are
no phones. Without phones, for many of the community,
there is no way to call for help if it is needed.
The airplane is needed to fly hay and grain into Chisana
for the range horses. This is especially crucial during the
winter months. Some, not all, but some of the horses
require hands-on care during the harshest months of the
Why is an airplane so important?
• Fly in fuel and groceries for the professional
wilderness guides we train and the families and
Team that live here year round.
• Fly in hay and feed for the range horses and
livestock we watch over and care for each
• Fly in fuel with runs the generators that supply
the power for the phone system for the Chisana
• Locate and rescue by air of the community’s
livestock and horses to ensure they’re not lost,
hurt or frozen.
• Rescue of trapped hikers and injured hunters,
broken-down snowmobiles, or others stranded
in the Alaska wilderness we live in.
• Medical evacuation for anyone in need of
physicians who are only accessible by air.
• Terry has landed his plane in running water
and has rescued families from flooding, taking
off just in time to watch the cabin be washed
The Man in Black,
The Alaska Bush Pilot
“O! for a
For months now, we had all been watching, praying and
working hard to do all that could be done to strengthen
and shore up the damages wrought by the endless
disasters of 2013 ending with the terrible fire of Cubby,
the Piper Super Cub, that was our life line to civilization.
There had to be some way to make a real difference, to
help in a real way if it could only be imagined first. A
fundraiser! We had donated to so many fundraisers over
the years and supported so many causes, I felt sure that
this was the right path.
As I researched and asked different people literally
hundreds of questions, I realized that this truly was the
right path to take. The scariest thought was, “Would I be
able to do enough?”
The answer? No. Not alone. But I am not alone and
neither are any of us! That is by far the biggest, most
precious gift that has come to me since bringing Pioneer
Outfitters to the world online and being truly all of who I
am, as Alaska Chick.
The Man in Black is Master Guide Terry Overly. He is so
many things to so many people; The Youngest Old Timer
in Alaska, Overly-One, Boss, teacher, mentor, leader, son,
brother, father, grandfather and friend.
To me, he is Pioneer Outfitters and he is my best friend.
He is the one who will always help anyone, anywhere and
he is the one that would give a stranger the shirt he
wore but never once wait or expect anything in return.
He loves children, dogs and horses almost above all else
but sees, hears and feels the beauty clearly enough in
the clouds moving above, a painting, a movie or a song
that he is moved to tears.
There are times in all of our lives that frustration and the
stress we feel seems to overwhelm who we are. I
remember Terry telling me that when he felt like this, he
He would fly up, up and up, circling Chisana, higher and
higher until it seemed he could see the curve of the
horizon. He would circle, looking back down, where all
the frustrations, puzzles and stresses had been left and
that they were so incredibly small.
Terry explained that he would circle until that thought
came to him and that then he would know it was time to
come back down. That those frustrations or problems
were simply things to be handled. Obstacles, like
boulders in a creek bed that could be moved or ridden
When he would again land on the airstrip, taxi over and
turn off the engine, he said, he would feel lighter again
and ready to face and handle whatever came.
These last months I have watched this great man age in
a way that has never happened before in the more than
twenty years I have been at his side. He is a man with
half his heart missing. THIS is what matters to me. There
is a bigger loss looming however, for all of Chisana and
Alaska, even the world, but without the Man in Black
whole, there is no heart.
Absolutely everything that comes into Chisana, groceries,
fuel, oil, animal feed, hay, supplies and people arrive by
air. Chisana is a very remote, fly-in area in the Wrangell
Mountains of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park &
Preserve in Alaska. We ride our horses over 80 miles
cross country from the Yukon Territories to bring them
into Chisana to live and during the winter visitors and
freight may be brought into Chisana by snowmachine.
Without the support of the Man in Black, there is no
consistent and safe air support to and from Chisana.
There is no way to search for missing hikers, skiers,
snowmachiners or visiting aircrafts.
There is no fuel or oil to keep the generators running so
that the community has phone or Internet service and no
reliable way to contact emergency services if there were
a need to do so.
There would be no way to reliably find the range horses
to keep watch on them as they run wild and free in case
they need assistance. There is no reasonable way to
have feed and hay available to the range horses that
may need it to sustain themselves during the hardest
part of the cold Alaska winters and the dangerous
Without the support of the Man in Black, flying above the
mountains in his easily recognizable black aircrafts, we
here in the tiny settlement of Chisana, which was once
the largest log cabin settlement in Alaska during the last
historic gold rush, we are forced to rely on air charter
services that can only bring in small amounts and never
enough supplies and always at the whims and availability
of “space available”. (continued next page)
“When it is
Without this important tool, not unlike most people’s own vehicle, we
are unable to support not only our own family and Team but we are
also unable to help and support the rest of the community and offer
the safety and assistance that has always been relied upon.
The goal of our Stand for the Man in Black is to
raise money to replace the aircraft that was
destroyed by a devastating fire in 2013.
The Goal: To save Pioneer Outfitters, the
community and to put the Man in Black back in
the air doing what he was born to do; make
other people’s dreams come true.
To Stand for a man who has always stood and
cared for others, to have a whole heart again.
Please stand with me, to Stand for the Man in
Black. I need your help.
“I am of the opinion that my life
belongs to the whole community
and as long as I live, it is my
privilege to do for it whatever I
can. I want to be thoroughly used
up when I die, for the harder I work
the more I live.”
~George Bernard Shaw
You may find a little bit of the background of Chisana and
Pioneer Outfitters interesting after hearing me speak of
the fundraiser Stand for the Man in Black. There is so
much to share with you why Alaska, Chisana, Pioneer
Outfitters and Master Guide Terry Overly who is the Man
in Black, deserves your attention, consideration, prayers
The biggest reason of all is the heart of the matter. He
cares. Master Guide Terry Overly cares. He cares for us
all, his Team, certainly. But he also cares for those he
doesn’t know, those that come to Chisana to pursue their
dreams, he cares about someone who he greets at the
store in town, he cares about people on the other side of
the world, as humanity makes us all brothers and sisters.
Please allow me to share with you a little about Chisana
and the beginning of Pioneer Outfitters, almost a century
"Shushanna" or Tsetsaan' Na' ~ literally, copper river or
red river. "Shushanna" was the spelling of Chisana before
the "powers that be" decided to map the area, and for
some unknown reason (that couldn't possibly make
sense!) change the spelling of our home.
Copper mining inspired some of the early prospectors to
travel to the land that is now Wrangell - St. Elias National
Park and Preserve, but it was the discovery of gold in
Chisana (pronounced “Shoo-shana”) that began the last
great gold rush in Alaska.
The Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve hosts
thousands of tourists and visitors each year, who come
to see this magnificently beautiful National Park. The
Wrangell St. Elias is our Nation's largest National Park.
In 1978, it was designated a National Monument, in
1979, it was designated a World Heritage Site and in
1980 it was designated National Park and Preserve.
In 1913, thousands of stampeders made the
treacherous journey through rugged country by
whatever means possible to reach the new found mining
district. Chisana soon became known as "the largest log
cabin town in the world." This was a short boom, only
lasting a few years, but an important part of the history
of this area.
Nestled in a remote valley between the Nutzotin and
Wrangell Mountains, the Chisana mining district provides
visitors with a unique glimpse of Alaska's gold rush era.
Unlike many better known and more accessible regions,
this area retains extensive evidence of its early mining
use, including the deteriorating remains of two towns;
numerous tent camps, various water diversion and
delivery systems; a full range of hand, hydraulic, and
mechanical mining operations; and a well-developed
The Wrangell St. Elias is over 20,000 square miles, over
9,000 acres of which are pure undisturbed wilderness.
Snow capped peaks climbing over 18,000 feet, rich, lush,
green valley's alive with over 1000 different flora and
fauna types with the many colors of wild flowers to add
dimension and depth to the overall beauty of the vast
arctic tundra, 48 mammals ranging in size from the tiny
shrew to the giant Alaska- Yukon moose, 239 different
birds and so much more.
The greatest concentration of glaciers in North America,
25% of this vast Wrangell St. Elias National Park and
Preserve is covered by glacial ice. In addition, it has
60% of Alaska's glacial ice. Incredible glaciers that you
can explore as you walk across.
However, the vast majority of all the visitors and
adventurers see only the south-west side of this
tremendously vast Park. The many tourist facilities that
are available as well as the road system in much of that
area make access so easy.
Very few tourists or adventurers ever get to see or
experience the north-east side of the glacial divide that
separates the south-west Wrangell's from the north-east
Wrangell's and the incredible Nutzotin Mountains that
extend all the way to the Canadian border. This is Pioneer
Pioneer Outfitters was founded in 1924. Chisana is
hidden deep within the Wrangell Mountains and is only
accessible by air. It was once the largest log cabin
settlement in the state and the site of the last historic
gold rush. Old log cabins, gold rush artifacts and flumes,
remains of an era gone by are locked in this land for
The world is changing and has been changing for a long
time. We here, at Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana, especially
those that have been here for a long time know that not
everything changes and we would like to share that with
A bit of History.. Of Chisana,
Alaska and Pioneer Outfitters
“The engine is
the heart of an
airplane, but the
pilot is its soul.”
Please stand with me as I Stand for the
Man in Black. I realize that you don’t know
me, most possibly may have never heard of
Pioneer Outfitters or Chisana, Alaska.
Terry Overly is a good man. Chisana is
a wondrous, spiritual place in which you will
always be welcome. Pioneer Outfitters is the
real deal. These statements are God’s
honest truth and I would love to introduce
you to all three.
I have been blessed these last years to
have had my eyes opened to the incredible
goodness of the people of the world. Not
blinded to what is wrong in the world, but I
had forgotten how much good there is,
outside of our mountains.
I hope that I found the right words to
touch your heart, to turn your eyes towards
us and hope that you will stand with me and
to remind this good man that he too, is not
alone. (It is so much easier for him to give
and give than ever suspect others would like
to do the same.)
Very Sincerely and From my Heart,
Amber-Lee Dibble, aka Alaska Chick
Pioneer Outfitters has made its living as
horse- outfitters from it's' birth. Taking
those generations of living in this enormous
wilderness and using them to show you all
there is to be seen and to help you safely
experience all the wonders it has to offer.
Since 1924...When Canadian and Alaskan
frontiersmen Lou Anderton & Co. started
Pioneer Outfitters with horse trips to the
Bonanza Creek to pan for gold and
sightseeing and Spring Bear Hunts, they
couldn't have known the legacy they were
Bud Hickethier, Lou's partner took over in
1957, and Lou Anderton passed away in
late 1959. Bud Hickethier became Pioneer
Outfitters. Bud met Elizabeth Overly in 1960
and the next chapter began. Elizabeth was
Alaska's first female licensed Registered
Guide. Terry learned from them and worked
with his mother and Bud to build Pioneer
Outfitters into something more.
Elizabeth decided to move away from Alaska,
turning to Terry for Pioneer Outfitters'
future. From the time Terry's mother and
Bud talked to him at work one day, at a dairy
in Palmer, into coming to see Chisana and to
live and work with them, it has been his
home. After listening to the old timers sitting
around Chistochina Lodge, listening to the
"Mountain Monarchs", Guides, like Bill Ellis,
Ken Oldham and Ron Hays and more.
Listening to them speak of and about
guiding and horses and clients, Terry was 15
Pioneer Outfitters has been home to a lot of
people over the years, Terry raised his family
there, guides that have lived there year
round (for 1, 2, some for up to 8 and 16
years), my own children (15 and 6 years
old) have never known any other home. The
trainees that come to us, some even fresh
from high school, live here with us for 1- 3
years each, some from lifetimes of service in
the military, some looking for the peace and
healing that comes from the wilderness,
space, silence and acceptance they are so in
From the last Historic gold rush, to being in
the Nation's largest, most beautiful Park,
from the history of the buildings that are still
being used today and shoot-outs that took
place in them and around them in a time
long gone. Natives that were here through it
all, one of whom is Terry's own blood
brother, Gillam Joe, who, it is repeated, was
sold for a bottle of whiskey and $10.00 as
an infant. The stories of the "Man in Black"
have created the legend that surrounds
Pioneer Outfitters and Terry Overly's Guides.
“Pilots are a rare
kind of human. They
leave the ordinary
surface of the word,
to purify their soul in
the sky, and they come
down to earth, only
after receiving the
communion of the
~Jose Maria Velasco
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather
the judgement that something else is more
important than fear.” ~Ambrose Redmoon