Escaping the Concrete Jungle

Texas Couple Moves “off the grid” to live off the land in Alaska

Boy meets girl. Boy takes girl to Alaska. There is no running water, no indoor bathroom,  and the cabin is only accessible by boat. To an ordinary couple, this would be hell. To this couple, it is heaven. But this is no ordinary couple.

Nathanael and Jennifer live and reside in Austin, Texas. Nathanael was born in Alabama, but raised  his whole life in Cajun Country USA (a.k.a Lafayette LA). He spent all of his childhood summers on his grandfather’s small farm in Alabama raising livestock, growing fruits and vegetables, hunting, fishing, and living in the great outdoors. All of his adult life, he has dreamt of going back to that simpler way of living off the land as from his childhood memories with his grandparents.  Jennifer was born in California, and was raised predominately in New Orleans LA …and although she has spent most of her life in the city, she enjoys camping, fishing, hunting and outdoor fitness training. She feels confident about the journey she is embarking on….after raising three children as a single mother, she is prepared for any adventure. No longer do they want to be trapped…. they are “escaping the concrete jungle.”

The couple is each successful in their respective professions; Nathanael is a hard working small business owner. Yet, despite his successes, he is willing to leave it all behind for a simpler way of life. He is ready to stop living to pay bills and to start living to survive. Jennifer is a professional non-profit administrator with 28 years of experience in fundraising. Her success now will be growing potatoes and carrots. They both dream of living off the land in a remote area of Alaska. Now, their dream is coming true.

The couple has found a cabin in Haines, Alaska, nestled in the Chilkat Valley about 200 miles northeast of Juneau. As vast as Alaska is, they researched and looked at many properties all through out Alaska, but the Inside Passage had their hearts. Over the past few years, the couple started researching attaining the basics of a self-sufficient lifestyle, practicing at home with success in growing several large vegetable gardens, breeding rabbits and doves, raising chickens, and bees. Now, they are anxious to put their knowledge and passion to work. The couple is selling everything they own and preparing for the move. Turning in big screen TV’s for big views… Traffic crossing  for moose crossings… Instant hot running water for cold outhouses…

The property they have found in Haines, AK is a community of only 2,500 and everyone really knows your name (see Heather Lende’s book about this small town).The property is  on several acres on Chilkat Lake, surrounded and connected to thousands of acres of state land, which will be at their disposal. Their property is about 30 miles north of the center of town. They plan to create a self-sustaining homestead by setting up a garden, raising chicken, goats, and rabbits, and hunting and fishing. To get to the cabin, they will need to fly from Austin, Texas to Juneau, then take a small plane from Juneau to Haines. From Haines, they will drive one hour to a boat dock, then take a one hour boat ride to the property. For the big move, however, they will drive…a 28 ft. moving van, a truck with a trailer, boat, 4 wheeler, and 2 canoes (and two dogs, Tucker and D’Beaux) for over 3,000 miles through Canada and by ferry to Haines.

This will be the couple’s first experience setting up a homestead and living off the land, and off the grid. They will have no running water, no internet, no television, and limited solar electricity. They have very rudimentary skills, but they are hopeful that their adventurous spirits and strong determination will set them on a course for living their dream lifestyle.

Follow Nathanael and Jennifer on their journey. See firsthand their first visit to the property, and the trials and tribulations of moving to the Alaska outback from Texas. What will they bring to the cabin and how will they get it there? What challenges will they face? What wildlife and wild life adventures await them? Tune in…