Amber attended NATTC Millington, Tennessee, and graduated from the A-School. After graduation she headed straight to Oahu, Hawaii at Barbers Point Naval Air Station for attachment to VP-1. After deploying to the U.S. Naval Air Station Cubi Point (a United States Navy aerial facility located at the edge of Naval Base Subic Bay and abutting the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines) she was re-deployed to support Desert Storm. Today, Amber is an Alaska Professional Guide. She works with Big Game Hunting and Horseback Riding Adventures. Additionally, Amber is a wildlife photographer, Manager of Pioneer Outfitters, and the lead guide of the Extreme Pro Team Guides. She is an Alaskan Mom and an impressive adventurer.
1. What made you decide to pursue the military?
I always knew I would join the military... just like my hero, my Grandpa. My Grandfather served in WWI and WWII and was a very proud American. He was my best friend and teacher.
2. Was it a good choice for you?
It was absolutely the best choice for me. I graduated from high school very young. The Navy was the safest place for me! (To keep me out of trouble and help me finish “growing up”.) It was to me, a combination of college with a parental-like supervision. Responsibility and pride, instilled and refined, an introduction and immersion into a world I had only heard of. I was, and still am very proud to have been part of what is so incredibly right.
3. What is your most memorable experience?
Being shot was pretty memorable. It changed everything. Every single thing. It changed me, it changed the world, my present and my future.
4. How did you get into being a Big Game Guide?
It seemed like the thing to do at the time! LOL, I wanted to know everything. I had come to Alaska and Pioneer Outfitters, knowing nothing, and it was part of the way of life. I have always wanted and strived to know how and why of everything I was living. This is what made me such a good hand on the farm. I had to know, so I learned it all, and could do it all. Alone. At 13 years old. It was very much the same when I came to Pioneer Outfitters.
5. Are you a hunter yourself? If so, what kind of game have you hunted/killed?
I consider myself a hunter. As a Professional Guide, I find, stalk, evaluate and give the ok to harvest (kill) the animal. Whether I release the arrow or squeeze the trigger or not, I am the hunter. It is an enormous responsibility, to the animal, to the client, to our business, to the state and to the universe. As taking any life should be. I harvested a Black Bear in 1995, for myself.
6. Tell us about your horseback riding adventures?
Our Horseback Adventures are incredible! They are the very best way of experiencing the beautiful wilderness that surrounds us. We make it possible for anyone to experience all that Alaska and this untouched wild space has to offer, no matter what age, what ability (including so many disabilities), what experience level a person may have or not have. All that is required is desire. We will do the rest.
Wildlife, nature herself, gold panning, glaciers, mountains, rivers and streams, fishing and the unstoppable beauty that fills even the most cynical of hearts and minds, is what our Horseback Adventures offers people. Spiritual places, used by the medicine men and shaman of the old peoples that were here long before us, remain, waiting to fill those open to it. The historical importance of the last historic gold rush and the freedom to simply absorb it all for each of us to call our own.
7. Do you have to be a great rider to go on an adventure?
Absolutely no experience is required to go on one of our Horseback Adventures. At Pioneer Outfitters, your guides are Professional Alaska Guides. Our guides are very experienced horsemen and women willing and excited, always, to teach and share the love for the proud and knowing animals that carry us.
Our range horses live in the wilderness, wild and free, until they are needed. They know the terrain and wilderness better than any human ever could. The horses carry us through and over the waters, tundra, up mountain passes, through the wilderness, keeping us safe. They carry comfortable camps and food to make real meals to create a comfort, usually lacking in trade to experience the wilderness so fully.
I would not hesitate to put even a young person on any one of our horses, knowing that they would be safe and understood. We have some horses, that are always reserved specially for our youngest Adventurers (including my own little girl) that have proven themselves time and again for being the most steady and gentle.
8. What is Extreme Pro Team Guides and your part in it?
The Extreme Pro Team Guides are the most experienced, year-round guides. They are the loyal, dedicated and inexhaustible Professional Guides that share and teach the Alaska Guide Trainees, in person and by example all it means to be a leader.
I am proud to be one of Pioneer Outfitters Extreme Pro Team Guides for the state of Alaska. I am the Lead Trainer for the Pro Team Guides, in the field and at my desk, for Ethics and Morality for Professional Guides as well as sharing what it all means to be a leader and the responsibilities of taking people into the wilderness.
9. What do you enjoy about photography?
The greatest pleasure for me to be found in photography is capturing “that” moment, in time, lives or nature, to share it with those who may never be able to experience it for themselves.
Looking at these moments, captured and made solid, reminds us of yesterdays and all that we’ve learned from them. Memories to hold, as the smells and feelings fade as they all do, and remember.
10. Are you a nature and/or wildlife photographer or commercial?
I am a life-experience photographer. (Not commercial. My photographs are to be treasured, as memories are.) Since I was a very young girl, I have had numerous cameras at any given time, always ready to capture a moment that may never come again... or worse, forgotten. As a child, I was touched deeply, hurt and alone, with my first experience of what Alzheimer's disease could and would do to memories. This was my way of fighting back, along with journaling.
11. How do you find time to be a Mom with so much going on?
I am incredibly lucky to be able to offer my children a life that is no longer available to most people. Surrounded by wilderness and experiencing a life full of wonders and the mystery of everything that the Earth offers us.
My children are home-schooled and much of their “schooling” comes from living. They are very much part of my “work” and with me, interacting, learning and loving the world we live in.
Being raised with the Professional Guides as “big brothers” and “big sisters” as well as the guests and clients that come into our lives, gives them the best of the world.
12. How do you make time for Amber?
This is a question that circles around in most people’s mind, that find themselves curious about our lives. Often, I am unable to explain it, as my answer strikes the asker as too “alien” to comprehend.
“As we live our lives, we make our living.” My entire life is time for “Amber.” THIS is what I was meant to be and do. The wilderness, the horses, Pioneer Outfitters, the internet, sharing it all with our Guide Trainees, guests, clients and you. You. This is what I was meant to be. Meant to do. Connect with you.
13. What is in the Number One Position on your MUST List?
To live in the Castle. (The name given to the new house as it was begun.) To live in my forever home, with my children (still young enough to leave a mark!), and make memories.
14. What is the best advice your Mother ever gave you?
“Never give up.” Keep trying. It is the absolute best advice and example I was ever given. I pass it on, every day to my own children as well as to the world through Alaska Chick’s Blog. Never stop, picking yourself up and trying again. Even if it feels hopeless, it isn’t. Nothing is. If you are alive, there is hope.
15. What is your adventure (life) motto?
You are as happy as you choose to be. All you have to do is not quit. That is all. Be happy and keep going.
This is the Bio that I have used… I included it only for your FYI, which ever you choose is beyond fine with me!
Bio. Amber-Lee Dibble, aka Alaska Chick’s Blog, is a Professional Alaska Guide and Manager at Pioneer Outfitters. “As you look, really look, and find no words; feeling both, your heart healing and filling to an inner bursting point and feeling that your soul has been laid open to the breeze and wind like a raw wound. This takes you beyond the physical, past the mental; this is the spiritual element. This is Chisana.” ~Alaska Chick
You can also find and chat with Amber-Lee and Pioneer Outfitters on FaceBook , on Twitter as @AlaskaChickBlog or on LinkedIn as Amber-Lee Dibble.
Amber-Lee Dibble About Me http://about.me/amberleedibble
Alaska Chick’s Blog http://pioneeroutfitters.com/blog/
Pioneer Outfitters http://pioneeroutfitters.com/
Amber-Lee Dibble FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/amberlee.dibble
Pioneer Outfitters on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/PioneerOutfitters
Pioneer Outfitters on Twitter https://twitter.com/AlaskaChickBlog
Amber-Lee Dibble on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-lee-dibble/b/970/34a