Last week we met some of Todd’s Yup’ik family of Native Americans, we saw Track take over his father’s fishing operation and met another cousin of the Palin’s who also has Down syndrome just like baby Trip.
This episode finds Sarah and her dad and a family friend going caribou hunting in her wonderful state. They hunt and fish to fill their freezer for the winter and it is one of the things many Alaskans live to do.
It is nice to see the entire family participate in this series and see that they are a real family with real problems and joys just like all of us. Where we may go to the supermarket to get food, they hunt for it themselves.
After checking his supply list to make sure they have everything they need, they board a plane from Wasilla to Kavik, which is north of the Arctic Circle. They met with Sue, the only inhabitant of Kavik. She lives there all year long and told them about her encounter with a bear who bit her on the head and dislocated her two hips, but she killed him after sewing her head laceration.
There are no doctors and no help available in this tundra, so survival is left up to you. In the winter, temperatures can go to seventy-five degrees below zero.
They flew fourteen miles from Kavik to a remote camp and saw lots of caribou as they flew over. They would be there for two days, just the three of them and a camera crew. The next morning they checked the area with binoculars and found just the right size caribou they were looking for.
The terrain is not easy to walk on and Sarah’s dad fell in the brush, but he was fine. They walked through ice cold streams getting their feet wet and saw tracks from wolves that had to be quite large. On the first day, they walked miles with no success.
Upon arriving at camp, they saw caribou in walking distance. Becker went over the hill and bagged a large animal and came back with the antlers on his back. The next day they stopped at a large blueberry patch and got to eat their lunch. Then they saw a large caribou in their range and Sarah took several shots and missed each time. She then used another gun and got him.
After skinning the animal and cutting it up, they had to get the meat prepared so it did not go bad. They tested the gun and found it to be defective.
Back in Wasilla, they brought the meat home and cut it up for steaks and stews to sustain them for the winter. Her father is seventy-two years old and defines the true spirit of Alaska.
Next week, Kate plus her eight children from Kate Plus Eight visit the Palins.