Growing up Alaska

When I was four years old, my parents packed everything up and left Montana for the wild bush of Alaska with my four siblings and myself in tow.  I spent my childhood raised in the remote wilderness of Tongass National Forest.  We spent the first two years in the tiny fishing village of Meyers Chuck (40 miles North of Ketchikan), where the only way to get there was by a floatplane or to know someone who had a boat and could hitch a ride.

After a couple of years, even Meyers Chuck was not off grid enough for my parents so they moved us to a nearby abandoned/burnt down cannery in Union Bay; there was no one there but our family.   My siblings and I became wild heathens, hahaha!  We would even fire off handmade arrows with our bows fashioned from drift wood at any stranger who dared to step foot on our land. 

We were homeschooled for many years, until halfway through my 6th grade our parents decided to trek us back over to the tiny one room school in Meyers chuck, where we just about made up half of the school population.  The only catch was, there are no roads, only open water, and so that was how we were "bused" back and forth, by open skiff, either a Boston Whaler, or at one point a wooden boat our father made completely from scratch.  Due to the inclement weather that is Southeast Alaska in the winters, we would miss at least 50 days of school per year.  So, we had an alternate set of school books at home, and on the days we couldn't make it we would get our lessons from the teacher via CB radio, as there was no phone service.

I lived this way until midway through my sophomore year, when I knew I wanted to eventually go to college, and this didn't even seem a possibility living so far away from any opportunities for scholarships, or even access to knowing how to apply to colleges.  So, I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Ketchikan and finished out my high school years in a regular school of 400 students.  I graduated and flew off to Hawaii for new adventures!  If you want to learn more about what it's like living totally off grid in the wilds of Alaska, check out my sisters Memoir "Raised in Ruins" available on Amazon.