Life on the Last Frontier

My sister and brother in law along with their two kids live in the Alaskan "bush" near a small village called Skwentna.
It's along the now famous Iditarod Trail sled dog race. Each winter it serves as a check point to the mushers and provides some excitement for the locals.
Dave, who is an electrical engineer by training, is a trapper and guides both hunting and fishing - specializing in the King and Silver Salmon - when he's not working on his own projects.
Chris is a local weather observer for the National Weather Service, taking readings and passing the info to interested pilots via the FAA.
As you can imagine, their lives are much different than what we, who live down in the "lower 48", are used to.
Everything they cannot provide from the land must be shipped in either by sled, boat or airplane.
As a result, the people who live out here develop a knack for self sufficiency long ago lost in the modern world.
The children are home schooled by their parents, using materials provided by the State of Alaska.
A TV antenna atop a tower next to the house and a gas powered generator help to keep them abreast of the outside world.
A family cruise down the river.
Collecting sap for syrup.

An Alaskan native pays a visit.
Their home near Skwentna.

The kids next to the snow measuring stick.
Making lumber for the new cabin with the sawmill.

Payton 2010
Paige 2010

Payton and a friend showing off a king salmon.
Dave 1 - Bear 0

Recently, they bought some land on a mountain with a view to Denali National Park. Early in the spring of 2006 they started to build a small cabin on their property, hauling all the materials in by sled and snowmobile.
The view at the new cabin site.
Looking into Denali Park.

Making a switch back path up the side of the mountain.
Dave and Sis delivering another load of lumber.

Framing the new cabin.
Progress as of spring 2006.

They managed to get most of the siding on and the windows put in this past winter
Notice the difference in snow depth between the photos taken in 2006 compared to 2007.
Progress as of spring 2007.

This page was updated 11-13-10

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