Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Amber-Lee Dibble

By: Gini Dietrich | March 22, 2013 | 

#FollowFriday- Amber-Lee DibbleLadies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce you to one Ms. Amber-Lee Dibble.

Not your typical Spin Sucks reader, Amber-Lee runs Pioneer Outfitters in Alaska.

She manages and is a big game guide (which means she hunts and shoots animals much, much larger than she) for the wilderness excursion company and has been for 20 years. But she didn’t grow up in Alaska; she grew up on a dairy farm in New York.

You know how most of us graduate from high school, headed for college, and have no idea what we want to do with the rest of our lives? Not Amber-Lee. She knew exactly what she wanted to do: Join the Navy.

Upon graduation she did and headed off to serve our country in Desert Storm. But, after deployment, she realized having automatic rifles pointed at her wasn’t such a great way of life and re-evaluated her hopes and dreams. She received an honorable discharge and went back to the dairy farm.

She read an article in The Paint Horse Journal about master guide Terry Overly and Pioneer Outfitters and sat down to write him a letter.

Not only did she receive a response, he sent her a plane ticket to Alaska. And she never looked back.

More than 25 percent of Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve is covered by glacial ice. In fact, it is the greatest concentration of glaciers in North America and it has more than half of Alaska’s glacial ice.

But most vistors to the park see only the southwest side because there many tourist facilities and a road system available. Very few ever get to  experience the northeast side of the glacial divide. This is where the people of Pioneer Outfitters live and work. And this is where Amber-Lee made a home for herself and, later, her family.

She has certainly brought the company into the information age. She blogs, she tweets, she Facebooks, she pins, she links, she pluses, and, if that’s not enough, she wrote a book, “My Identity Crisis.”

She is an incredible woman. We always joke how vastly different our lives are. She’ll gasp at something I encounter in the big city and I can’t get my arms around her life in the wilderness. But I learn a ton from her and I’m lucky to call her a friend.

Introduce yourself to her in the comments below, follow her on the social networks, read her blog and her book, and get to know her.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • belllindsay

    Wow. I know Amber-Lee – but had no idea just how, erm, deep into the whole glacial ice, big game thing she actually was – and of course I assumed she grew up in Alaska!! That’s really amazing – and sounds like an incredible way of life. Welcome to the world of the Follow Friday fanatics Amber!! Maybe one day hubs and I will make our way to Pioneer Outfitters! 😀

    • @belllindsay You and Hubs would be welcome! And yes, I’m in pretty deep!

  • A wilderness trip to Alaska is on my bucket list, especially for some coho, king and sockeye on the fly. Awesome to meet you, Amber-Lee! 🙂

    • @jasonkonopinski Mmmmmmm….sockeye

    • @jasonkonopinski MMM….Not Salmon here… think “High Mountain Lakes”
      Wonderful to meet you too, Jason!

  • Oh, hot diggidy…let’s gossip about Amber-Lee b/c she’s gonna be asleep for, like 4 more hours. Here we go…that girl is the best co-moderator of our Bloggers Unite! Google+ community ever; good thing I made her a co-captain b/c she was vying for my job anyway.
    Amber-Lee cannot write a headline to save her soul (she knows, she freely admits that); yet, this girl is the most prolific of bloggers in the great Northwest only accessible by plane in Chisana, Alaska.
    She’s also a single mama of many kidlets, like Old Mother Hubbard, and learns on the fly when she’s on horseback dressed in pink. Gag me. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and even more ecstatic seeing her featured here. 
    Morning, Amber-Lee! Surprise!

    • @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing She is one of the good ones. Maybe we should enlist her help to get a certain someone over their fear of squirrels and killer dolphins.

      • @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing First of all, I do not fear squirrels. I hate them. With a passion. They’re rats with long, furry tails. I wish them all an extinction. Secondly, I do not fear killer dolphins. I simply think we should not eat them.

        • @ginidietrich  @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing 
          First- Boy, am I glad I didn’t get you up here last year, Gini! Skrizzle would NOT have pleased you… he had already been released back into the “wild” but he knew us and would follow us on walks and jump out of trees and land, only to partially miss and have to scramble and dig in with his claws to climb up to your shoulder!! (Can you say “heart failure”?)
          Secondly, I agree. We should NOT eat dolphins. No. Not ever.

        • belllindsay

          @AlaskaChickBlog  @ginidietrich  @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Oh. I would pay BIG MONEY to get that set up when Gini heads north. Please Amber-Lee, PLEASE set that up!!! #skrizzle

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Skrizzle is now fully wild again. I don’t know if he even remembers his human family anymore. My Alaska Chick-let seems to believe every squirrel she sees now is Skrizz…but who knows. No more attacking squirrels. All safe, Gini! LOL… We’d have a BLAST!

    • @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Oh Fuglesnot.
      I’ve SEEN your office, Miss Thang, and I like mine better! And I don’t want your job, you just caught me after a 4-pots-of-coffee-day! LOL
      Sigh, it is true. My headlines suck big hairy weenies.
      (Old Mother Hubbard, my a**) I have two vastly gifted, slightly twisted (this is what happens when you raise children in a hunting camp), children. My very own ChisanaBoy who is 14 and the little Alaska Chick-let who is almost six!
      What a beautiful, sparkly surprise!! (Ya know…. I usually save Spin Sucks for evening!!)

  • Wow! What a cool story! I would be horrendously jealous of your job…if I wasn’t terribly allergic to cold weather. But I’m still pretty jealous. Not to mention the fact that you must be the most persuasive letter writer ever! Which is an impressive skill in an of itself. When I was 8 I wrote the President (of the United States) a letter asking for a job, and I believe all got was a sticker. Similar responses from Michael Jordan and Bon Jovi (who I wrote a song for…could have been multiplatinum…but no). Now at the time I was pleased about these responses, but now I know that other people are handing out plane tickets…I have to say, I feel pretty crushed…

    • @LauraPetrolino Dear Laura, will you please come work with us? You’d fit our culture perfectly. Also, Michael Jordan lives in Chicago. I know you’re allergic to cold and all, but I know where he hangs out and we can stalk him like he did me one summer. Much love, Gini

      • @ginidietrich Dearest Gini,
        Um….are you being serious? Please know that should there ever be an opportunity, I would be up there in half a heart beat to come work with you all.  Like, no joke, world land speed records would be set.  End of story!
        Allergies can be dealt with, and luckily I look extremely adorable in wool sweaters and little knitted hats (and when I say extremely adorable, I’m being modest). So obviously this would not be a problem.
        Sincerely yours, 
        p.s. I would however demand that the whole Michael Jordan thing be in my contract. Other than that I’m negotiable.

      • @ginidietrich  @LauraPetrolino (My momma loves Michael Jordan!)

    • @LauraPetrolino It was a pretty huge surprise for me as well! Speaking with Boss on the phone, he had asked if I was going to be around and I was like, “Where am I going? I milk cows three times a day!” So he says he is sending me a surprise… and I waited… do you know disappointed I was when the Fed-Ex truck pulled in behind the milk truck and pulled out an ENVELOPE? Sigh. THEN, I opened it!! Tickets to Alaska!
      I LOVE music and I am sure, if Bon Jovi had had a clue, I would be singin’ your song!

  • Hi, Amber-Lee — my wife is from Alaska, so we go up there in the summer to fish the Kenai. Which is probably like San Diego compared to where you are! I’ve only been going up there a for a few years but am always searching out a new adventure. Congratulations on pursuing your dream!

    • @RobBiesenbach Wait. I just realized you’re in Chicago. How did I miss this very important fact?

      • @ginidietrich Sometimes I forget I’m in Chicago. Then I look outside at the snow on the ground in March and realize I’m home.

    • @RobBiesenbach We are Adventure, Rob! How wonderful is that?! Touch base when you folks come back next!

  • Hi Amber-Lee! Like all have been staying, what a great story!

  • Wow great to meet you, Amber-Lee! I’ve never made it that far north, but hope to one day.  I am going to check out your blog now!

    • @RebeccaTodd Oh! You should go there for your trip!

      • @ginidietrich Well, not sure they have 4 major biz schools in driving distance of 1 hotel…

    • @RebeccaTodd It is an amazing and wonderful place in the world, Rebecca! Horses or snow machines, warm (that can mean anything from hot enough to fry your brain to down right cold) or cold (and well, that means COLD!)?

      • @AlaskaChickBlog Love horses, sleds and cold. I’m in.

        • @RebeccaTodd Bring it on! The boys are putting new skis on the ice sail and we are gonna hit the ice with it at the base of the glacier…. umm…soon. Better hurry!

  • PattiRoseKnight1

    Nice to meet you Amber-Lee!

    • @PattiRoseKnight1 It IS very nice to meet you as well! (This is so way past cool!)

  • belllindsay

    I love that one of her fave things is tinfoil!! Me too!! 😀

    • @belllindsay One of your favorite things is tinfoil?

      • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay She has a lot of tinfoil hats…

        • HowieG

          @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay when the caught the ex mayor of DC holed up in that crack house he had a tinfoil pipe in his hand.

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich See, you can do *anything* with tinfoil!

        • @belllindsay  @HowieG  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich HAH!!!

        • @HowieG  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay (snort!)

    • @belllindsay REALLY?!
      …And how cool is THAT?

  • Glad we’re already friends. Now I just need to figure out how to get a vacation out of this…

    • @KenMueller Right?!

      • @ginidietrich I used to have a friend up that way. My old  neighbors spent a few months up there recently and loved it. I need to go.

    • @KenMueller Remember; she’s only accessible by airplane and that ain’t no Lear jet.

      • @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @KenMueller Umm..
        Actually, Miss #RockHot, a Lear Jet CAN land on “the big strip” and have in the past…. (just sayin…)

    • @KenMueller And again, Perfect! LOL… yeah, yeah, yeah…You show up, Ken, I’ll do the rest! Thanks for everything!!

  • HowieG

    OMG what a great choice!
    Amber-Lee saved my life back in the big storm on 2006. I was on a Salmon fishing expedition with some friends and I got separated when a big late season snowstorm hit. After holing up in a cave with only my raw salmon catch to eat for 2 days and no idea where I was, I heard someone whistling Alice in Chains The Rooster.
    So I emerged and waved down Amber-Lee. She was hunting Elk with only a Bowie Knife. I thought I was hallucinating (I get flashbacks from my past Grateful Dead Days). I was like damn that Electric Jerry Juice you are messing with my head! But no it really was a person and she came to my aid.
    We spent the next 7 days tracking the Elk herd and trapping beaver for pelts. The deal was I carry the pelts and Amber-Lee leads me to safety at the end of her expedition. On the fifth day loaded down with pelts but invigorated with my new found excitement for the wilderness just before sundown Amber-Lee took off running full speed. I thought ‘Oh no I am to be left to die out here, she didn’t even teach me how to make a fire or build an igloo yet how will I survive?’
    Then a minute later I heard a blood curdling scream. It was inhuman. Something Banshee like. I dropped the pelts and ran in the direction of the sound. And there was Amber-Lee actually on the back of a male Elk, riding it! Running circles around a Polar Bear, Bowie Knife in her hand. In one great leap she landed on the bear’s back, and in an action seemingly polished like she has done this a million times, she bit the bear at the jugular and landed the knife perfectly under the ribs into it’s heart. I almost ran away. Who was this woman?
    After the bear fell she pulled out her IPhone and in 20 minutes a helicopter came grabbed her and the bear and the pelts and flew away. Leaving me with some Elk Jerky and a map showing I was 2 miles from Sarah Palin’s house.
    I will never forget that experience as long as I live.

    • belllindsay

      @HowieG Dear Howie: Please, please, PLEASE compile a book of these comments.

      • @belllindsay  @HowieG YES! Howie’s FF comments always win.

      • @belllindsay  @HowieG I would certainly buy one! LOL

      • HowieG

        @belllindsay aren’t you the blog content manager?! BTW I did a search on Google for Sin Sucks and my name comes up…81,321 times. But nothing about @ginidietrich what gives?

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @ginidietrich Howie, we haven’t TOLD anyone yet that “Gini” is really you in drag. The big reveal is in the next book!! Sheeesh.

    • @HowieG Dude, NO WAY!  She’s got a mean bite 😮
      That scream made the hair on my neck stand up 😛 
      Awesome short story!

      • @Mark_Harai  @HowieG PERFECT!! (I already printed it!! LOL)

    • @HowieG Howie. You have been talking to Bill Dorman again, haven’t you? Sigh. You guys. I ride horses, not Elk. And …
      Oh, never mind. Sigh.

      • HowieG

        @AlaskaChickBlog Hey today you peaked with your fame. Soon you will be only rabbit trapping and riding miniature ponies but well worth it! Really nice to meet you Amber 8)

        • @HowieG (snort) We have a mini-pony on order for my little girl. It will be flown into Chisana with the mail and when it grows up, it will pull a cart! “Bella Rules” is a common phrase in Chisana.
          It was simply lovely to meet you as well, Howie.

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @AlaskaChickBlog “My Little Ponies” – LOL

  • equuisdancer

    Good Morn’ my Pal..I bet I’m sneaking in just as your putting on the coffee pot to perk.
    Amber is a great friend and she’s everything that this says and more! 
    What a great write up!

    • @equuisdancer YOU TOO?!
      My dearest, truest pal. What an incredible honor and surprise, eh? BIG SMILES for a very HAPPY FRIDAY!! (oooo, look out FB!)

  • debdobson62

    Nice to meet you Amber-Lee.  You sound quite fascinating.  Thank you @ginidietrich for the introduction.

    • @debdobson62  @ginidietrich Wait? Who is Deb Dobson? Does she really exist? Methinks it’s merely a figment of my imagination or someone with her name. Hmm, just a short year ago we carpooled down to Social Slam; wait, yeah, that was someone else.

      • debdobson62

        @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @ginidietrich  LOL.  Nope, that was the real Deb Dobson carpooling down to Social Slam.  *waving hi*

    • @debdobson62  @ginidietrich It is very nice to meet you as well!! Thank you for saying hi!

      • debdobson62

        @AlaskaChickBlog  @ginidietrich You’re most welcome.  You sound like one cool woman.

  • Holy Guacamole! Look, it’s Christmas, Amber-Lee! You’ve got all these gifts under the tree and still don’t know it…giggle, chuckle…I’m so excited! So, you just keep on sleepin’ and when you awake to this, you’re gonna fall off your pink chair!

    • @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing YOU know me, soooo well! LOL Lookie me, ma!! WOW. Jayme… I hope this brought a spark to you as well… you were already “here” when I got here… I remember, out of all the places I went to learn, watching and reading your responses… learning… sitting in my “pink chair” ..terrified!

  • Great to meet you, Amber-Lee! And thank you for your Service! I always like meeting or learning about people who found their calling and ran with it right away. It appears that life has been very fulfilling for you. And that’s something I’m striving for! Happy Friday, everyone!

    • @Matt_Cerms Holy Moley, Happy Friday!!
      I’m striving too, Matt. The doors to my world blew completely off the hinges when I met HubSpot and began my online journey.
      I will be one of the times in my life that I am most proud of, my service in the United States Navy, thank you.

      • belllindsay

        @AlaskaChickBlog  @Matt_Cerms I’ve got family in the service – both here in Canada and stateside. Kudos to you. Very brave. Very selfless.

        • @belllindsay  @Matt_Cerms Kudos and very sincere gratitude to them as well.

  • You’ve got some really cool stuff brewing inside of you, Amber! : )
    It’s been a pleasure getting to know you better, miss – thank you for being a awesome friend and great connection on the social web.
    To great accomplishments, “Cheers!”

    • @Mark_Harai To great accomplishments, indeed. (Holy shmokes, Mark!! LOOK at me!! LOL)
      It has been an incredible honor to have learned so much from you!!

  • Wonderful to meet you! My husband would love to live where you do.

    • @aimeelwest Wonderful to meet you too!! ~ I hear that a LOT!

      • @AlaskaChickBlog I am sure that you do 🙂 haha

  • Oh my heavens! Gini, this is simply and utterly… WOW.

  • SpinSucks

    Matt_Cerms Love her story. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • rdopping

    Who the heck let HER in here? For heavens sake, Gini, you can’t be stopped, can you?
    Actually, a better choice could not have been make. I have benefited immensely from Amber’s positivity for quite some time. She is such a giving soul. I am glad to know you girl.
    Enjoy the spotlight. You deserve it.

    • @rdopping Clearly I hit the bottom of the barrel.

      • @ginidietrich  @rdopping Hey wait. What?

        • HowieG

          @AlaskaChickBlog  @ginidietrich  @rdopping Hey Ralph we all know Alaska should be part of Canada. I heard their bacon is round like yours. Can you annex it?

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich  @rdopping Now. Howie. Careful there, dude.
          Alaska should NOT be part of Canada (no offense to all my very worthy Canadian friends).
          And our bacon is NOT round. (It’s made properly.)

        • rdopping

          @HowieG @AlaskaChickBlog @ginidietrich If I knew what annex meant I might. Round bacon is good.

        • rdopping

          @AlaskaChickBlog @ginidietrich welcome to the club.

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @AlaskaChickBlog  @ginidietrich  @rdopping I’d like to know how we lost the GD thing in the first place!! #CanadaFail

      • rdopping

        @ginidietrich rock bottom. You know what they say. You have to hit rock bottom before you can rebound for realz. 😉

    • @rdopping Ralph! Look at this! You are awesome. I am simply basking…

  • We need to ask the proverbial question of @AlaskaChickBlog  does a bear really ‘sit’ in the woods? 
    I know Ms Amber-Lee well and would love to go out and visit her. Maybe Terry will send me a ticket, huh? I’m guessing my Speedo wouldn’t play too well in a frozen mountain stream…
    Good Follow Friday, she is living the life of adventure.

    • @bdorman264 Hey! I answered that for you! I even found a picture of proof!
      Don’t fret, I’ll ask him! LOL And if he does, you have to bring the Speedo… you know another one of my favorite things is photography and we cannot let all these folks NOT see you in your Speedo in the Chisana River! (I’m thinking the expression on his face as he cannon-balls into it!)
      Good Follow Friday, indeed!

      • belllindsay

        @AlaskaChickBlog  @bdorman264 Hey Bill: “I was in THE POOL!!!!” hahahahaha

  • ginidietrich

    erikj Thanks Erik!

    • erikj

      ginidietrich My pleasure, Gini. Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Love. Her. 🙂

  • gingerconsult

    Amber-Lee is a treasure. I always admire her spirit of giving back and paying forward. She gives of her talents to all. If you haven’t already – follow her! I know I’m very lucky to have her in my community of #bealeader and I’m so honored to call her friend.

    • @gingerconsult Jen, this is a dream come true for me. It may seem like small taters in the over all skeem of things… but THIS is the point! What a wonderful and absolute surprise…
      It is my honor to be a part of #bealeader. I am not going to quit or be led astray from the Path… we are here to do something for the world!

  • There is nothing like passion! Amber-Lee has it!

  • There is nothing like passion! Amber-Lee has it! Thanks for bringing her to light!

    • @gerardcorbett Thank you, kind Sir. I definitely feel the light!

  • Amber-Lee IS seriously awesome!She’s super passionate and her everyday life is beyond our wildest comprehension/dreams. Definitely someone I admire and love!

    • @Ameena Falchetto Ameena! Isn’t this just grand?! Not beyond John and your own comprehensions! Thank you, Ameena, for teaching me so much and being part of my life.

  • SpinSucks

    AlaskaChickBlog Thanks for sharing!

  • Rad! Nice to make your acquaintance @AlaskaChickBlog  =)

    • @JoeCardillo Very nice to make you acquaintance as well! I don’t believe I have anyone in my world that uses the word “Rad”! Welcome!!

  • Hi Amber-Lee.  What an inspiration you are.  We’re taking a Glacier trip this summer but now I wish we had booked a trip to meet you and see your side of Alaska.  So nice to virtually meet you!

    • @jolynndeal Wow! Me too, LOL, be sure that you stay in touch! I would love to hear about your adventure, Jolynn. If you need any advice on getting ready, now you have a friend here to help!

  • TaraGeissinger1

    Girl Power! 🙂 Nice to meet you Amber-Lee. I look forward to following you!

    • @TaraGeissinger1 Woo-Hoo!! I look forward to having a blast together with any chick who knows all about Girl Power, Tara!

  • Amber-Lee, what a nice write up and story! Congrats on your big “social debut” on Spin Sucks. You were great in Brian’s novel, do you get the role if it goes to the big screen?

    • @barrettrossie Shoot, Barrett, I’m in movies too often as it is! Ha! Brian is soo cool!…. Hey! Mabe Gini could play me! (Then I could get my hands on her shoes!!)

      • @AlaskaChickBlog Would Gini’s shoes come in handy up there in Tundraland??

        • @barrettrossie  @AlaskaChickBlog Um, I doubt it.

        • @barrettrossie  Umm, maybe not handy…but I’d be willing to bet they weren’t made to be “handy”!! LOL, The Italians certainly have a gift for creating beauty with leather…
          Besides! Some of my favorite things aren’t handy at all! I have, at last count 9 pair of Gringos that will NEVER experience a stirrup- it doesn’t make them any less loved!

  • AlaskaChickBlog

    ClaritySol SpinSucks ginidietrich Thank you! Happy Happy Friday!

    • ClaritySol

      AlaskaChickBlog You’re very welcome, and a very happy (and Rad!) Friday to you as well!

  • WomeninHighGear

    RT ginidietrich: I’m super excited about today’s #FF. She’s one incredible chick!

  • Amber Lee is awesomeness.

  • PASmithjr

    shonali ginidietrich GirlyGrizzly KDillabough
    lifeforinstance Samantha_S_Hall AngelaMaiers MariSmith GirlsGoneMoto Whats up ?

    • KDillabough

      PASmithjr shonali ginidietrich GirlyGrizzly lifeforinstance Samantha_S_Hall AngelaMaiers MariSmith GirlsGoneMoto Hi!

    • Samantha_S_Hall

      PASmithjr shonali ginidietrich GirlyGrizzly KDillabough lifeforinstance AngelaMaiers MariSmith Hi Al. How’s the new job?

      • PASmithjr

        Samantha_S_Hall. Its Great ! Love it. Sent u an email earlier. Have a wonderful weekend !

        • Samantha_S_Hall

          PASmithjr Awesome! Yes, just saw it and the pic. Chllin like a villian by the pool I see. ‘Luckyyyyy’ (spoken like Napoleon Dynamite)

        • PASmithjr

          Samantha_S_Hall. Ha. Yes indeed. Its Bootyfull here !

  • PASmithjr

    RT ginidietrich #FollowFriday: Amber-Lee Dibble (aka AlaskaChickBlog) vSpinSuckscks Yes, she’s Awesome !

    • ginidietrich

      PASmithjr Woo hoo!

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