Wild About Alaska

At their remote home on Moser Bay, Alaska, the author and her family harvest halibut and huckleberries and shoo bears out of the back yard.

| August/September 2004

  • Alaska
    My husband, Mark, and I live with our two children on Moser Bay, about an hour from Ketchikan, Alaska.
    Photo courtesy Fotolia/Joy Prescott

  • Alaska

At our remote home on Moser Bay, we harvest halibut and huckleberries, and shoo bears out of our back yard.

My husband, Mark, and I live with our two children on Moser Bay, about an hour from Ketchikan, Alaska. Our home is so close to the water that we can go out into our front yard and catch fish for dinner, and far enough from town that we see more seals, ravens and bald eagles than people. This is the good life.

When we travel to Ketchikan, half of our journey is made across the water in our 17-foot fiberglass boat. We keep our car at the marina and then drive the 16 miles into town. In the summer, we go to town at least once a week, but in the winter, we make the trip less often; when the weather is cold and calm enough, the bay’s salt water can freeze on the surface, locking our boat in place.

At home, we don’t have access to public utilities, and cell phones are useless because we are out of the broadcast towers’ range. Out here, we are off the grid and truly on our own. The closest resident is about a mile away, across the bay. We may go a week or more without seeing another person, and we can go to the nearby islands on the bay and not see another soul, ever.

Some of the “luxurious” features in our home would be taken for granted by most people: We have a flush toilet, hot water for the shower and lights that turn on with the flick of a switch. Maintaining an off-the-grid home of this standard in this location can be a full-time occupation. Unfortunately, that occupation doesn’t provide an income, so every other week Mark heads off to his job on the state ferries, which offers a regular paycheck and benefits.

Building the Dream

Mark grew up in Alaska, and bought this property just after graduating from high school. Over a period of several years, he built a 20-by-20-foot, two-story cabin. Meanwhile, I was living in my home state of Arizona, enduring hot summers and endless sunshine.

5/11/2009 11:49:01 AM

What a great place to live and make a great home for your children......would love to see some more photos of your place and whatt you have done !!

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