THE ACTUALITY OF LIVING OFF THE GRID IN ALASKA
When I was in second grade, I watched the movie "Alone in the Wilderness" by Richard Proenneke. It was the moment in my life when I knew I wanted to live in Alaska. As a kid growing up In Lake Stevens, Washington, I picked up many survival skills that would serve me well in Alaska. I enjoyed fishing, trapping, hunting game and foraging foods that grew in woods and the Pacific Ocean. I learned to enjoy the outdoors and remote life style.
In the early 1990's I went to an EMT training class in Craig, Alaska. The winters there were impressive. They were not as harsh as the Northern parts of Alaska. Around 2004, I ventured to Prince of Wales Island. Hearing that fishing for salmon and bottom fish like halibut and ling cod was very good, as was the hunting, I was intrigued. I found a small cabin in the remote fishing village of Port Protection.
The adventure began! I had to learn how to survive off the grid. It was so exciting and challenging! Then winter set in. It was long cold, windy, rainy and miserable. Oh, the survival skills became absolutely necessary. I talked to fishermen and local villagers, asking them how they managed to survive. I acquired a chain saw and cut down dead standing trees that kept me warm thru the night. Catching fish, hunting small game and deer were a must if I wanted to eat!
Hardships and physical endurance became the norm. I cut down cedar trees, milled the lumber with a sawmill and built 365 feet of boardwalk as a bridge over the boggy muskeg that led to my small cabin.
Realizing that my 500 square foot cabin needed more living space, I constructed a bathroom and shower in addition to reinforcing the existing cabin. With help I built a barn to raise and protect ducks and goats.
Gradually I gained essential tools, supplies, and necessities; a new wood stove, cook ware and plumbing. I also built my own furniture. It became vital to construct a greenhouse for growing fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer. You will see my luscious greenhouse garden in the Gallery.