Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Alone in the Wilderness
It seems that every time I fly somewhere I return to some sort of head cold, most likely from the germ pit known as an airplane. I spent the day on the couch with a box full of kleenex and moms honey, lemon and whiskey tea to soothe the cobblestone path in my throat. To my surprise PBS was running the Dick Proenneke documentary "Alone in the Wilderness". If you've never seen it and grew up with a fascination for programs like "Marty Stouffers Wild America" or "Lorne Greenes New Wilderness" then it's a must. Not to mention the fact that I don't believe there are many men left in this world that would take on such a feat out of nothing more than personal satisfaction.
Dick lived his life as a carpenter, mechanic and rancher all throughout the United States and at the ripe young age of 51 he decided to move to Alaska and build a log cabin by hand. Chisels, axes and handsaws were all he had and what he accomplished was amazing to say the least. Dick lived in his cabin until he was 82 years old and couldn't physically compete with the cold and daily duties any longer.
Dick befriended a hiker by the name of Bob Swerer in his latter years who was also a nature documentary buff. Upon Dicks passing in 2003 Bob discovered that Dick had filmed his early adventures and the entire step by step building of the cabin with a hand cranked video camera along with voice overs.
It's a really amazing documentary and inspiring to say the least. There are no rules to the game of life, it is what you make it. Leave your mark.