Just passin' through

Teen is riding horses from Alaska to Mexico

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Jeremiah Karsten was just looking for an adventure.

Two countries, four states and more than 3,000 miles later, he's on one.

Karsten, 19, is traveling horseback from Palmer, Ala--ska, to Mexico. He passed through Craig on Friday, with five horses and two dogs.

"I call it kind of a day in the office," Karsten said of the 30 or so miles he rides every day.

After graduating high school, Karsten, with his parents' support, decided it would be fun to take a trip from Alaska to sunny Mexico. He left in June 2004, stopping along the way to work odd jobs to pay for his journey. He sleeps wherever he can.

The journey is taking so long, in part, because Karsten stopped to work for eight months at a ranch in Canada.

Thursday night, he camped on Bureau of Land Management land in Wyoming.

Pied piper

Every 300 miles or so, he trades the horses for fresh ones.

He picked up the dogs in Canada. He meant to bring one dog, which he found at a rodeo. The other just tagged along.

"I'm like the darned pied piper," Karsten said as his dogs napped along Colorado Highway 13 north of Craig.

Once Karsten came out of the northern Rockies in Montana and into the rolling hills of Wyoming, the trip got a little easier.

He hit some rough weather in Canada, but other than a few rainstorms, including one Friday in Craig, the weather hasn't been too bad.

"I've been pretty lucky," he said.

But Karsten said he doesn't plan to push his luck by heading through Colorado's big mountains.

"I ain't going to that Steam--boat Springs," he said.

No worries

Karsten said he planned to spend the winter with an uncle in Southwest Colorado before heading into New Mexico and toward the border.

He said he wasn't sure what he wanted to do when he got to Mexico.

He might get a truck and trailer and drive back -- he'll cross that bridge when he gets there.

"I really don't have much of a care in the world," he said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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