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 😉

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

Where Atz Lee Kilcher and Family Really Live (JOKE!)

First, this really is not where Atz Lee Kilcher lives, but as we drove out to the end of the road going up Kachemak Bay, we saw so many houses that look self-sustaining, or as self-sustaining as possible. We saw old Volkswagon buses, used as chicken coops, old school buses used as green houses; we saw a lot of homesteads that looked like they were using solar power and growing a lot of their own produce. We saw horse barns and ATVs and cranes and big barns. We saw all kinds of signs of self-sustaining people who are loving life in Homer, Alaska.

Do you know who Atz Lee Kilcher is? The Discovery Show has a reality show called Alaska, the Last Frontier, and it is one of my guilty pleasures. I have a good friend whose husband also follows the adventures of this hard-working, self-sustaining family. My friend joked with me as we left “Say hello to Atz Lee for us!”

So as we drove along, looking at all these wonderful homes, I saw this one, and thought to myself . . . maybe this is where the Atz Lee family really lives. They film all these outbuildings, and the family going out hunting in boats, or taking their cranes on their barge, or taking their horses to run the cows back home – but maybe “reality” is all that AND they live in comfort in this beautiful house outside Homer. Atz Lee Kilcher does live on Kachemak Bay and there are a lot of lovely houses along Kachemak Bay.

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Remember, this is a joke, I do not know where Atz Lee really lives, only when I looked at this house I thought it would be funny if this is where they really lived.

UPDATE: When I wrote this post, it was a joke, and I had no idea how many people would come her to see where the Kilchers live. Actually, without knowing, we were on the Kilcher road, and I believe this home is on the same road which connects to Kilcher road, called Merrimac road. You can see Kilcher road on Google Maps:

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It isn’t far out of Homer, an easy drive. The scenery is BEAUTIFUL. The Kilchers homesteaded one of the most beautiful places on earth.

September 9, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Beauty, Cultural, Entertainment, Environment, Humor, Joke, Road Trips, Travel | , | 89 Comments