Are the characters based on real people?
Characters are imaginary . Many do have elements of real people, some more than others but each character, as with most characters in novels, is a hodgepodge of several people’s personality traits and looks. What will surprise you is how real the characters become while reading.
Were there llamas at Wolf Canyon Ranch?
The real Wolf Canyon Ranch, which is mostly portrayed accurately in the novels was started in 1980 with a small herd of llamas, which grew to over one hundred along with twenty alpacas. There were two dromedary camels, a small herd of reindeer, a large heard of fallow deer (Tinkerbell was a spotted fallow deer), cows including highland cows, one zebra-donkey, and over a dozen horses. The llamas were primarily a breeding herd but later they were used for packing into the Pasayten Wilderness, north of the ranch along the Canadian border. All the animal names are real and did exist like the llama Pipestone, Sharifa the camel, the horses Skipper, Dawn, and Blacky, Tinker the Mediterranean Fallow deer, Rosie the Irish Wolfhound.
Is Fort Huachuca a US Army facility?
Fort Huachuca, Arizona is an operating army base on the edge of the Huachuca Mountains just 15 miles from the Mexican border. It was one of the earliest, if not the first, to test unmanned planes. The closest town is Sierra Vista to which the fort is annexed. Tombstone is close by, as is the old copper mining town of Bisbee. The fort was originally built for the Buffalo Soldiers and today hosts myriad army functions. It also houses the aerostat, the DEA’s radar equipped, lighter than air vehicle.
Ramsey Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains attracts bird watchers from around the world and is dubbed the Hummingbird capital of the world.
A short distance from Fort Huachuca is an approximately 12,000 year old Clovis Indian site, Murray Springs, which was settled in the late Pleistocene era by a small group of Clovis people. How they became extinct is still a mystery.
Is there a Wolf Canyon Ranch?
There was. It existed and was much as described. However, the property is now owned by the Washington State Department of Wildlife. Most of the buildings still stand but are uninhabited except for animals that have made them their home. It is located outside Twisp, Washington.
Was there a homesteaders cabin?
Yes and on the walls newspapers were glued with “Peal Harbor Bombed” headlines. It was built in the late 1800s. the exact date is not known. Each 160 acre plot had remnants of cabin. Old foundations and in some cases the only telltale sign was a lone lilac growing in fertilized soil where an outhouse had been.
The Pasayten Wilderness borders Canada and is south of Manning Provincial Park and Cathedral Provincial Park. It is next to Ross Lake National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park. The northern end of the Pacific Crest trail ends in the Pasayten. It is varied terrain and wilderness with drier basins to the east and rugged mountains to the west.
Horse packers and llama packers take groups into the wilderness and a favored spot is Lauden Lake in Horshoe Basin. Rising above Horsehoe basin, to the north and on the the Canada border is the massive Arnold mountain.
Every attempt has been made in the Jim Johnson books to depict the wilderness accurately. It is a beautiful area and one of the least visited wilderness areas in the lower United States.