About your Hosts... Rachel and Jake
From: Jupiter, Florida
Rachel, the last of 7 girls, grew up on a family farm in West Jupiter, Florida, where along with her sisters raised and trained horses and cattle, and showed through the 4-H program. She attended Florida Atlantic University and graduated with a bachelor of Finance with a minor in Accounting . After working in Public Accounting for several years, she realized sitting behind a desk was not her cup of tea. She met Jake in 1991 and soon after took a long sabbatical to travel Australia and New Zealand by bicycle, which opened her eyes beyond the corporate ladder.
From: Balboa, Panama
Jake, number 3 of 5 siblings grew up in the Panama Canal Zone, and spent many summers in Sabula, Iowa where his mother’s side of the family is from. Jake is the 3rd generation from Panama with grandparents that went to work on the Panama Canal in 1905. A few years after graduating High School, Jake came to the States and lived in Tallahassee, Florida where he played Rugby and pursued a trade education. Jake ended up in the construction field and has been a carpenter and a general contractor most of his working years. Jake's love of woodworking led to the desire to build timber frame homes, and the Carriage House B&B and the Chalet are beautiful examples of his talent.
In 1994 they came to Alaska to stay for the summer, however, the endless opportunities for adventure, the unique lifestyle and interesting people made them stay. By the end of that summer, they had visions of a Horse and Carriage business to compliment the ski resort and beautiful Valley of Girdwood. That fall, they purchased and had shipped up from Viking, Canada, 2 Percheron geldings named Kobuk and Tecumseh, "The Boys", and started Chugach Carriage Company. From there, they needed a place to house the horses and themselves, hence the beautiful spruce post and beam timber frame home. The home was designed for the lower level as storage for the carriages and the equipment needed for the horses, with Jake and Rachel living on the second level. Before construction began it was decided to enclose the lower level for rooms and have a B&B, therefore the original name "The Carriage House Bed & Breakfast." In 2015 they renovated the separate timber frame barn and a portion of Jakes wood shop into private nightly rental units and changed the name to “Carriage House Accommodations.”
Jake and Rachel raised two children in this magnificent home. Colin is now back in Alaska working in the engineering field after attending UNR and graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and spent 6 summers commercial fishing in Prince WIlliam Sound. Morgan is pursuing her college education in Florida, where she can enjoy the sun and beach and Rachel's family.
Our pets, Stella, a chocolate lab mix and Lucy, a black and white kitty, both rescues, reside in the main home and are both friendly and happy to stand in for guests missing the own pets. Although they may pass through the guest areas of the B&B, they do not reside in this space and are generally out of the way unless you wish to see them.
History of the Horses: KOBUK and TECUMPSEH
Chugach Carriage Company operated for 14 years with "The Boys" shuttling guests and locals around the valley. Being the only horses in town, the horses became part of the community, the children loved to feed them and go on "pony rides." The Boys' gentleness with the children made it clear why draft horses are called the "gentle giants," often weighing well over a ton each.
The horses aged gracefully going from completely black, as young geldings ages 4 and 5, to almost white at age 19 and 20. This color change is very common in the Percheron breed, depending on their bloodlines.
The boys have since been retired and currently the Carriage House is without horses and the carriage, but displays the wonderful memories of "The Boys."
We look forward to meeting you!
Rachel & Jake