If you’ve never seen Dick Proenneke’s movie Alone in the Wilderness, you need to watch these two videos. It’s the story of a mechanic turned naturalist, who retired at age 50, and went to Alaska to live alone in the wilderness for 30 years. While there, he chronicled his life on film, vividly demonstrating the use of so-called “primitive skills” for survival. This excerpt chronicles the construction of his log cabin, which still stands today, and is managed by the Forest Service.
I first saw this movie on PBS during an annual fundraiser and I couldn’t stop watching it. It appealed to me on many levels: the self-reliance of a skilled craftsman, the beauty and menace of the Alaskan wilderness, and as a journal of a very articulate observer. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this interlude.
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