On last night’s episode of “Life Below Zero,” those who live near the Arctic Circle experience different lifestyles, but nonetheless, they all love their lifestyles and are happy in this extreme environment.
This episode titled “The Resurrection” begins as Sue Aikens, who lives in Kavik, Alaska, 197 miles north of the Arctic Circle returns home after being away for surgery. She enters her Kavik River Camp that was likely visited by a bear because of the scratches on a door, but nothing has been destroyed.
In Kiwalik, 37 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Chip and Agnes Hailstone and their five daughters love to hunt and fish and become nomadic and set up their camp wherever the animals are. They will spend the summer harvesting the resources available to them, in order to survive the harsh winter. They are busy setting up their tents and notice a herd of caribou, but the shelter is more important because rain is coming, and they must be protected before they can hunt.
In Nenana, 138 miles from the Arctic Circle, Jesse Holmes is lucky to live the way he does and is cooking up some food for his dogs. As the fish from last season’s catch runs low, he must get his fish wheel into the water quickly to ramp up his supply. His team of about forty dogs needs salmon to survive. He must catch lots of fish for them because the cost to feed them with commercial food would cost about fifty dollars a day.
In Chandalar, 65 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Glenn Villeneuve loves his life in the Brooks Range. He knows that only smaller animals will be available to him, as the caribou have gone north. He walked a few miles and found ducks and shot one for his dinner and another that should give him enough for at least a week.
In Kavik, Sue inspects her refrigeration that was neglected while she was in the hospital. She lost several thousand dollars worth of food that she hunted for last season. She has been advised by the State that she must get it away from camp before the animals pick up the scent. In Kiwalik, the Hailstones are preparing for their hunt. As the girls keep watch, they spot caribou, but it is a mother and calf that they cannot shoot, but the young bull with them is fair game. When a daughter shoots the calf, they celebrate and butcher it together. Chip and Agnes feel that by teaching them to survive, they will pass on their skills to their own children.
In Nenana, Jesse makes coffee in his cabin and prepares to repair his boat. He learned carpentry skills when he arrived in Alaska, and they came in handy living alone, but anything that needs repairing is his job and luckily; he is a quick learner. He hauled his boat to the water with his bicycle.
In Kiwalik, they are now hunting for the sides for their caribou meal. Mushrooms and Eskimo potatoes are abundant along the river. Sue disposes of her spoiled food downriver and returns to camp and spots a wolf hunting for the disgusting food she lost. Because it is just one wolf and not a pack, she returns for the second trip.
The Hailstones are feasting on heart and tongue soup and being together is something they love. Glen has learned over the years what to expect from each season as he shoots another duck, it floats on the river, but retrieving it is another story. So he chops off the top of a tree to try to snag it and pull it in. He took three tries and finally threw it far enough to pull it in. If he had to go in the water, the muddy bottom might cause him more problems.
In Kavik, Sue is busy doing her chores and had to burn all her cigarettes. She had to quit smoking by the order of her doctors. She must get the camp ready and this year she will assess if she is physically able to complete her chores. If not; she must make a choice.
In Nenana, Jesse must launch his boat into the water and see if it floats. His primary job is done as the boat goes downriver, it is his happiest time of the year on this episode of “Life Below Zero.”