Thursday, May 3, 2007

Braving Alaska

braving alaska

Braving Alaska: Experience Life in America's Last Frontier
by The National Geographic Society
ISBN: 0800137752
Length: 60 minutes
Published: 1992

This is the first good non-fiction video I've seen of Alaska. Narrated by Martin Sheen, we get a brief glimpse of the lives of several families living in the Bush.

Some awesome moments:
  • Kick Ass Beaver Trap - I wish they had gone into more detail on how this is done. A man pushes some snow and squares of what looks like cardboard away, reaches in a dark hole by the frozen river, and pulls out a beaver. He quickly rubs snow over the beaver's wet fur, and suddenly the fur is dry and lovely in the wind.
  • Self-Sufficient 15 year old girl - Traveling with her sled team, checking her traps, staying overnight miles away from her family's cabin - I admire her and feel so inept in comparison.
  • Last Moments of a Caribou and a Moose - Cleanly shot and moments later the fur is off and enormous legs are being laid on a sheet of canvas. It is jarring, but real. There is no comparison between this and travel vids of Skagway & Co.

Overall: Definitely worth checking out from your local library. There's no dearth of beautiful scenery, but the humans of this environment are the most interesting aspect.

And Onward: I want to read the book that continues the story of one of these families, The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in the Arctic Wilderness by James Campbell.

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