On last night’s Discovery Channel season finale episode of “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” the episode was titled “The Last Straw.” The Kilcher family lives a life of subsistence in and around their homestead off Kachemak Bay in southern Alaska and winter just put its icy grip on the homestead.
Atz Lee is determined that he is going to the Hunter’s Cabin. He is not fully healed from his accident, but just needs to prove to himself that he can continue to do the things he did before. Jane cannot convince him to let her go with him, so she lost this battle.
Across the homestead, Eve calls to Eivin in an alarming voice that the boiler is exploding. The water heater has sprung a leak and with the winter here, two babies and a desperate need for hot water, he will have to replace it with a more efficient one that will provide hot water for heaters and general use. This one runs by wood and coal, but he will require help installing it.
Winter’s relentless onslaught threatens all the work building Shane and Kelly’s cabin. Otto and Charlotte agree to give them some huge bales of hay to protect the wood. Otto and Charlotte strain to roll the hay bale onto the forklift when Otto pops his existing hernia. Charlotte drives them back home, as he moans and groans. She puts a call in for the doctor.
Eivin comes to retrieve a 500-gallon butane tank that has been around the homestead for years. It is too big for the boiler room, so Eivin must cut it in half and drop it down about two feet and then weld it together. As he brings it back home, he checks his welds to be sure there are no pinholes in the pressure tank.
In the back country, Atz Lee is on the way to the cabin and discovers the door open, the window torn off and a total destruction inside. He knows that a bear stopped for a visit. Everything was chewed on or ruined; mattresses chewed on, insulation torn out, and even the wood stove was dismantled. After the mental and physical turmoil he has been through, he blames himself for not nailing the door shut; a rule never to be broken.
Eivin enlists the help of his neighbor Brian with the installation of the boiler. Brian has much experience in this area, and he is the right person to call. Once they squeezed it into the boiler room, Eivin was proud that he saved about $5,000 by using an existing tank and Jerry-rigging it to fit his needs. Soon the installation was complete, the house warmed up and so did the water.
After discovering his cabin destroyed; Atz Lee went to visit his friend and only neighbor at the cabin, John Coila. John was surprised to see Atz Lee driving the snow machine and expected him to still be laid up. He shared with John that he is not yet 100 percent, but never expected what he found. John had an idea and asked Atz Lee if he was interested. He wanted to put a guest cabin on his property where Atz Lee can come to stay. It will take the rest of the winter and part of the spring to put it together, but he knows that Jane will feel safer there and John wanted to ease Atz Lee’s depression. Atz, Bonnie and Jane went out looking for Atz Lee and found him at John’s. He told them all about John’s suggestion, but Jane is not in the mood right now.
Dr. Sayer, the country doctor came to visit Otto. He examined him and discovered that it was the same hernia he told him to get fixed twenty years ago. Now it could kill him. As soon as the doctor felt the hernia, Otto yelled in pain. He knew that his intestine slipped through the hernia, and he would try to push it back where it belongs. If the hernia does not go back in, the intestine could die and kill him in 24 to 48 hours. Finally, after much pushing and pain, the doctor was successful putting the hernia back inside where it belonged.
When they arrived home, Jane was totally against the idea of living in the wilderness, but Atz Lee was determined to have his way. He then went to help Shane and Kelly. Shane knows that with winter here, they will not finish their cabin. He decided to put up plastic walls and lay down the hay. Suddenly, the entire Kilcher family was there to help, even Eve and Sparrow came but Otto could only supervise on this episode of “Alaska: The Last Frontier.”