Winter 2018 Letter from the Editor

This isn’t your typical winter issue cover shot, but when I saw Cathy Mitkovska’s picture of her daughter in a costal rainforest, I knew it needed to be out in front. In addition to being completely charming, her photograph conveys peace, renewal, and calm reflection—feelings that are often associated with the winter season (and, I might add, something we could all use right now).


In addition to a great cover story, this issue also has a story entitled Wheelchairs and Llamas, about a collaboration between Pack Animal and two local organizations. We’re hoping to do the event again in the spring and then take a few folks out on an overnight during the summer of 2019. If you’d like to learn more about the trip, please email me at


On a related note, as we’re headed into the season of Thanksgiving, I’d like to send out a very special THANK YOU to my Pack Animal authors, photographers, and columnists, especially Dave Hodges, Clancy Clark, Sadie Squier, Phil Romig Jr, Shirley Weathers, Topher Downham, Kristy Brown, and Lawrence Robinson. This magazine runs on a shoestring budget and depends upon volunteers to author articles and take photographs and I am eternally grateful for the generosity of all of these people!


I’d also like to thank Larry Lewellyn and Toby Stensland for bringing llamas to the Wheelchairs and Llamas event this fall—I am so grateful that members of the packing community are willing to give of their time, expertise, and excellent animals in this way!


This issue marks the fourth and final issue of our first year under the new masthead of Pack Animal. Most of the cover stories revolved around getting children and young people out into the backcountry. The theme for 2019 is Hunters and Anglers, so consider this your invitation to submit an article about your adventures!


Until then, I hope you all have a peaceful and enjoyable winter season.


Happy Trails!
Alexa Metrick, Editor