Mel Adkins describes life in Alaska in the early days of statehood by a family from the plains of Oklahoma. They learned to be inventive and self-reliant in a land untouched by humans after moving more than 12 miles from the nearest road, to a 160-acre homestead on the Kenai Peninsula. To a young man just entering his teens this was a dream come true, but the physical labor that had to be done the first year, simply to survive, was more than he had ever imagined. Cutting firewood with a manual cross cut saw, packing water from the spring, working on a sawmill, and packing supplies in to the homestead on his back left little time for hunting and fishing. The family almost starved and froze out that first year, but sheer will power, stubbornness, and rugged determination for a better way of life persevered; a family of the greenest cheechackos that ever homesteaded in the land of the midnight sun.
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