On last night’s episode of “Life below Zero,” those who live above and below the Arctic Circle experience different lifestyles, but nonetheless, they all love their way of life and are happy in this extreme environment. This episode is titled “On the Edge” and begins in Kavik, 197 miles north of the Arctic Circle where Sue Aikens is the lone resident and proprietor of Kavik River Camp, the only refueling station east of the North Slope in the heart of the tundra. She must fill the camp with lots of people this season in order to keep the camp running. When she was a child, her answer to what she wanted to be when she grew up was a lighthouse keeper. She always craved isolation and certainly has it now. Residents of the camp have seen lots of bear scat (poop) around the camp, so Sue went out to check on it. She saw that it was a juvenile bear as judged by the size. She wants the bears to stay at least five miles from the camp for safety’s sake. While she was checking for predators, she shot two ptarmigans for dinner.
Jesse Holmes lives in Nenana by the river 138 miles south of the Arctic Circle. He is another lover who lives with his 55 sled dogs. He made lots of mistakes in his live and is trying to make up for it. He is looking for a moose to fill his freezer and eliminate the need to hunt for several small critters. As it gets dark, he goes to sleep in hopes of finding one the next day.
In Noorvik, 19 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the Hailstones, Chip and Agnes have five daughters, and a couple of sons have been teaching their children the subsistence lifestyle along with many other things, just in case they want to take a different path. Agnes has inherited land from her parents and grandparents. The new land offers more access for survival; they own land along both sides of the river. They must first build a permanent structure before winter arrives with a vengeance. They will start with a structure, and a house will come later.
Glenn Villeneuve is in Fairbanks; he wants to fly home before any storm delays his plan. His bush pilot friend thinks they can make it and sure enough; they land in the Brooks Range, and once the plane takes off; Glenn knows he is alone again.
In Nenana, Jesse is still hunting for a moose. He spotted moose scat along his trail and is very hopeful. After a long day of waiting, a cow and bull came by, but it was too dark.
In their new property, the Hailstones are gathering river logs to start building. Many already have the bark stripped from rolling around in the river. They had too heavy a load and got stuck in shallow water. Soon they made it out and were on the way.
In Chandalar, 65 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Glenn Villeneuve needs more wood for the cabin in the Brooks Range. He has a supply and as it snows, he knows it will not last too long. He uses the trees on the ground before they are buried in snow. He wants nothing more than to be alone in the wilderness. He does not want to drive to a building and sit in a cubicle all day.
Sue is in the middle of nature in Kavik. She has hunters staying in camp and must get rid of the carcasses from their hunt and bring it far enough away from her camp for the predators to eat.
Back in Noorvik, the Hailstones are utilizing the resources in their new homestead and have built the foundation. They will complete it when time allows.
Jesse sees a cow and her calf but no bull. He spotted a bull last night, but he is nowhere to be found today. He spotted a grouse and got it for breakfast. He is not discouraged because he learned a lot about the area and the animals that live there.
In Noorvik, the Hailstones are being careful of the thin layer of ice on the land. They took the girls to see the new property and stayed by the shore and had a nice meal.
In Chandalar, Glenn is going for a quick swim. It is 24 degrees, and he loves every minute of the cold water. In Kavik, Sue is watching and spots the juvenile bear from afar, but she shoots a few shots just to let them know that they should not come any closer on this episode of “Life Below Zero.”