Living Off the Land in the Alaskan Wilderness


| 1/26/2016 12:35:00 PM


Tags: portable sawmills, green building, living off the land, The Wood Mizer Team, Alaska,

The Talaheim Lodge

In 1976, my youthful dream started to unfold as I began building my remote fishing lodge, The Talaheim Lodge, in the wilderness of Alaska. Most of the state can’t be reached by road, so many Alaskan fishing lodges, like mine, have to be reached by either helicopter or plane. Everything from a toothpick to a gallon of gasoline has to be flown in to our site.

During my younger days we built stockades with local timbers. Large cargo, single-engine aircrafts on skis are expensive to charter, so most of my lumber was cut on-site with a chainsaw mill. Our first crude building was built from logs and chainsaw cut lumber and went up like a kid building a tree fort. For the next 30 years, I used a chainsaw to cut as much lumber as possible in order to keep costs down when building miles away from roads. We only averaged about one board an hour but most of our lumber didn’t have to be flown in which saved us money.

Skidding Logs by Snowmobile

All our logs are skidded to our site by snowmobile in March and April when the snow is deep and settled. Everything out here comes by air except our snow machines that we drive out in the winter - a 50-mile journey from the nearest road system. In 2006, I purchased a very large wide-tracked snowmobile, which was capable of pulling in much larger logs than I was able to in the past. Glaring at my log deck of about 100, 12’ long and 16” diameter logs, I suddenly started to tense up thinking about all that back breaking chainsaw milling I would have to do.

Log Deck




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