I grew up in a tiny little town at the end of the road in Alaska in the 1970s and 1980s. Pretty reliably one or two couples a year would show up in town hoping to set themselves up to "live off the land" in some cabin somewhere. We were too far north for agriculturally-hopeful homesteading, but in those days it was possible to do subsistence hunting and fishing for a good chunk of calories, grow a modest summer garden of potatoes, and make a little cash in the winter as a fur trapper or in the summer doing small-scale placer gold mining.
So these couples would show up in town in the late summer, build or rent some tiny cabin, and settle in to survive the long cold winter together. The locals would immediately set up a pool for how long it would be until one or the other or both of the newcomers would be leaving on the weekly mailplane. It was extremely rare for a couple to survive their first winter in Alaska together; and just about unheard of if they were a new couple. It's a hard place, winters are long, and cabin fever is a real thing.
On the other hand, a thing we often saw was for a single man to show up in town, work casual jobs, get some land, build a cabin, set up a trapline, train a sled dog team, and generally get himself established as a rough tough Alaskan wilderness dude. And then three to five years in, he'd kinda get tired of being single and announce he was gonna go home, spend the winter back where he came from, and visit with his folks who were missing him. He'd never say he was going "outside" (as Alaskans call it) to look for female companionship, but eight times out of ten he'd come back with a big-eyed new romantic partner who was very excited about her new Alaskan adventure. These ladies often did not survive the first winter either, but their odds were much better! And even if the relationship didn't survive the winter, a lot of these ladies discovered that some other local dude was even more interesting than the one that recruited them. There was one guy who repeated this procedure about every three years for a dozen years until he finally got himself a wife who "stuck" -- but by that point, some of the other bachelors in town were wanting to buy him drinks for bringing so many adventurous women to town.
Dan Boone, such a good reality check! When I was young, i would have been game enough to have tried that. Thankfully, i am older and wiser now, and am quite content on my farm in Virginia. One day I might relocate to a spot higher up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but that would depend on finding a buyer for this place. So for now, my knees appreciate the flatter ground, and overall the good climate. Cheers!
My wife and I did it. Got married and moved up here to Alaska right off. Bought land, hand built a small cabin with lumber from our land and got a good garden going. Four years and two boys later we are doing well. It can be done but its not easy and it does take a special kind of couple. Not all folks can take it up here. Helps to like long dark winters reading, hauling firewood through the snow and ice fishing. And isolation. We would totally do it again.
Interesting subject and sorry for stealing the thread. Hope the OP found a silver lining to the issue of going places single or with someone.
I think money stress, and money expectations, tips a lot of relationships over the edge. And follows one no matter where it is. Going to Alaska trying to avoid dealing with money, the dominant paradigm, may leave it behind for a honeymoon period, but it catches up. And many other factors but for me money and poverty can be a relationship breaker.
posted 1 month ago
I went up with no experience and hand built a cabin in the interior speed time researching the area and local internet groups to join in headed back to do property development
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