will steger

My friend Dan just sent me some incredible links from the Minneapolis paper about polar explorer Will Steger, a man who has pretty much given over his life to the fight against global warming. If you’re interested, his story can be found here, and there’s a really good, short slideshow here. It’s really amazing to hear him tell about the changes in the Arctic that he’s seen firsthand over these past 40 years.

If you like that, check out the information on his next expedition, and read up on the rural homestead that he began building as a young man. It’s fascinating stuff… Here’s a clip:

….When I turned twenty-five, I had three years of teaching under my belt. I left everything behind and moved up to my cabin.

I could then concentrate on building my homestead and working towards being self-sufficient. We didn’t need much money, but we needed some for tools, seeds and a little food that we couldn’t grow ourselves. I had some money saved from teaching and from fighting fires in Alaska. Later on I would also lead trips for Outward Bound to get some money.

The sauna was the first building we built after the cabin. The sauna is still the way we keep clean here at the homestead — we have never had any running water. We heat the sauna with wood and then jump into the lake to rinse away the sweat and dirt.

After building the sauna, we built the ice house and the root cellar, which make it possible for us to keep food cool. We cut ice from the lake in the winter and stored it in the ice house, buried deep in the hillside. We also built a cache for storing food; it’s like a miniature log cabin on ten-foot-high stilts. The bottom of the stilts were wrapped in metal so mice and squirrels couldn’t climb up. The cache also had a ladder that we would take down so bears couldn’t get in. We would store our beans and grains here. Beans and rice, along with fish from the lakes, were our main sources of protein…

If I were Linette, I’d leave me in an instant for this guy.

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  1. t.d. glass
    Posted January 15, 2007 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    He’s old. Send Linette in now, and in a few years the Homestead could be yours.

    (It does sound very cool. If I read it correctly, the place is only reachable by water.)

  2. ol' e cross
    Posted January 15, 2007 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Okay. I’ll post. Re-runs from the local library of Northern Exposure (among other things, including canoeist-to-cry-for Bill Mason media and conversations with my longing-for-manhood MI Militia bud) have a similar affect on me. I weep. I want. I long.

    The ol’ pioneer, survivalist world-changer mentally connects with my biology. Given my current computer-latched-living state, the idea of chopping trees and ice for survival sounds utopian. I want it like a five-dollar whore. But, I’ve got a problem forsaking people and family for cause, because I’ve come to place love of family and friends as the hardest and best cause.

    I may be misguided and self-deluded, but I’m pretty sure my woman prefers the faithfully depleted cuckold to the ice pack cowboy. At least, she pretends she does, God bless her.

    I’m not saying what Steger accomplishes isn’t beautiful and vital, it is, just that compared to adjusting evolutionary impulse to 21st Century local needs, Linette’s got a hunka spit more of man.

    Steger’s life is my wet dream. Turns out, my wet dreams are seldom the same as those I try to love.

  3. mark
    Posted January 15, 2007 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    He’s got solar power, and I bet he has a satellite dish. My guess is that he has internet connectivity at the Homestead. What more do you need? An occasional email from a friend, a few Daily Show clips on YouTube, a few photos from the family come holiday time? Civilization is overrated.

    If my back wasn’t bad, if I could live without grapefruit and hot showers, and if I weren’t a total chicken shit, I’d be right there with him. I can’t imagine a better way for Clementine to grow up than completely isolated from the world, with only her mother and me to talk with.

  4. ol' e cross
    Posted January 15, 2007 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    The frozen tundra is the new world. I, too, am feeling a rather a potent prowess upon realizing from your unsexy post that my manhood is (roughly) the size of Hugh Hefners…

  5. t.d. glass
    Posted January 16, 2007 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Mark has a similar deal worked out with those individuals who appear in his magazine.

  6. t.d. glass
    Posted January 16, 2007 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    And that comment, like the one from OEC before it, relates back to the “What is Unsexy” link about Hugh Hefner’s geriatric bedroom antics.

  7. It's Skinner Again
    Posted January 17, 2007 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    I don’t think civilization is overrated. I’m with Gandhi, who answered the question “What do you think of western civilization?” with “It would be a good idea.” The best part of life is not doing chores.

    Mark tried to talk me into one of those “Crimewave” sex nights, but I tactfully excused myself. I understand he has to have pterodactyl tapes playing, and everyone has to eat Doritos. Not my scene.

  8. mark
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    “Every night is sex night at Crimewave.”

    And don’t believe everything you hear, Doug. It’s actually Columbo DVDs.

  9. It's Skinner Again
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    And Columbo BVDs too, I suppose. Count me out.

  10. mark
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    And it’s not every episode of Columbo, just the ones co-starring Patrick McGoohan(and, if I’m in the mood for it, William Shatner).

  11. It's Skinner Again
    Posted January 19, 2007 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I was surprised to hear that McGoohan was so heavily into the furry scene. I knew Shatner seldom went out without beagle ears, but I didn’t expect it of McGoohan. Actors are funny people.

  12. t.d. glass
    Posted January 19, 2007 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    They’re remaking The Prisoner. I read mention of it somewhere the other day. The prospect both excites and terrifies me. I hope they do it well, and I hope McGoohan is actively involved. I’d be heartbroken if he just sold the idea to Disney so that he could afford more snouts and the like.

  13. It's Skinner Again
    Posted January 19, 2007 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A furry remake of “The Prisoner” could be interesting. “I am not a koala — I am a man!”

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