Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Secret Addiction: Alaska The Last Frontier

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Every Sunday and Monday I get a bunch of hits on an entry I did back in August about where the Kilcher family “really” lives. The Kilcher family is featured on a Discovery Channel show called Alaska The Last Frontier. It was a joke because I had no idea where they lived; we just wanted to explore the roads around Homer and that was a house I saw – and there were a lot of really nice homes in Homer, homes that looked like they had a lot of self-sustaining features – barns, corrals, heavy farm machinery, solar panels, chicken coops, etc.

As it turns out, by accident, we were pretty close when I took that photo. When you look on Google maps, you will see, off East End Road, a road called Kilcher road. Makes sense to me that would be where at least some of the Kilcher clan live.

Do you watch Alaska The Last Frontier? It is a reality show, and kind of hokey. Like I grew up in Alaska, I’ve been in Homer, it’s not like they are Little Town on the Prairie. They are just miles away from a wonderful grocery and department store, hardware stores, some very nice restaurants, sweet summer market – they have doctors and veterinarians, they are not out in the wilderness where their only access is the weekly bush pilot – if he can get in through the wildly blowing snow-storm, if you catch my drift.

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And yet . . . Sunday evening comes around and I have to get my fix. I am addicted. Yes, they are hokey, but I guess it is a kind of quixotic hokeyness I like. They hunt, and they eat the meat they hunt. I grew up that way, and what I just hate are hunters who hunt because they think it makes them big men, especially if they hunt farmed animals. The Kilchers shoot animals they can eat. They even eat bear, which, if you’ve ever eaten bear (shudder) takes a lot of something – red wine, spices, barbecue sauce – to cover up that gamey taste.

They hunt to fill the freezers to have meat through the winter, but they also build things, and have all kinds of guy-toys – bulldozers, cranes, snowmobiles, tractors, ATV’s. They build bridges, a huge garage – you know, manly Alaska sorts of things 🙂

The women garden, keep cattle, milk cows, knit, raise chickens for eggs, do a lot of the fishing – I admire that. I think it is a good thing to stay close to the earth, even having to figure out how to get water from the spring into your cabin (pretty nice cabin, spectacular view.)

They camera work and editing are amazing. Mostly they edit out the most modern conveniences – we can tell they are ‘on the grid’, i.e. they have electricity, because the lighting is electric, but they pretty much crop out any appliances, and any other nearby homes, the Homer spit – LOL – the Homer Spit is about the most prominent natural feature in Kachemak Bay, and you never even see it on Alaska The Last Frontier.

So it’s a little deceptive. I can live with that. I admire the Kilcher family for their commitment to doing their best to be self-sustaining, good neighbors, while bowing to the inevitable convenience of buying Levis and flannel shirts at the Safeway down the road. No, they don’t show us those things; it probably wouldn’t have so many followers if they did. It’s still a lot of fun following the series, and I am guessing – hoping – that the season finale will feature a new birth, and a new member of the Kilcher family.

I have one suspicion, based on having lived in Alaska for many years when I was a kid. Alaskans love Hawaii. Every year, the Discovery Channel films the Kilchers from spring thaw to hard freeze of winter . . . I am betting your find the Kilcher family on the beaches in Hawaii during at least a part of those long hard winters 😉

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January 21, 2014 Posted by | Alaska, Blogging, Building, Community, Cultural, Entertainment, Environment, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Values | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Alabama

Today the church prays for the Episcopal diocese of Alabama. When my far-away friends ask me where Pensacola is, I tell them we are so far west in Florida that we are next door to Alabama. It’s the truth. I can drive ten minutes and be in Alabama.

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January 21, 2014 Posted by | Faith, Geography / Maps, Pensacola | | Leave a comment