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About Pete

petes fishI was borne and raised in Philadelphia, PA then did a three year tour with the Army in the Far East and Texas. My first career was as a printing pressman lasted for 26 years until 1993. Then after a series of life changing events in 1993 and 1994, I went to work for my son in 1995 on an outdoor adventure series shot in Alaska. The series went on to win two awards and was later aired on PBS.

 

 

IMG_7725While working on the video project I was so taken by Alaska and its people I bought property and after completing the project returned to live here. For the first three years in Alaska I worked as an assistant hunting guide. During this time I obtained an Alaskan fishing guides license and began running fishing trips down the Yukon river. In 2001 I began helping a friend build a home then the one home turned into three and I was offered a new place to live and have been here ever since.

 

petes AKWhile at my new home I became a licensed Ham radio operator so I could talk with my family in the lower ’48’. Though the cabin has no full time electricity I have a battery bank, solar panels and a generator for when the need arises. Out here there is of course no running water, phone service or TV but I have found the pleasure of books…lots and lots of books. I also continue to work on Video projects and have a small editing suite for working on them.

Even though I miss my children and grandchildren my daily life is full. I have few close by neighbors but I do manage to spend time with the woman that gave me this place to live and her daughter. On those few times when I may be down I have only to open my door and walk outside into the wilderness that surrounds me and I can see Gods handy work all around.

Welcome to the virtual home of KL1HB in Alaska.

I am located 65 miles North of Fairbanks, Alaska and (at BP55) a scant 135 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Here’s the “helm” of my starship:

My home has no phone, no postal mail, no cable TV, no running water or full time electricity. There is no internet or broadcast TV but I use Winlink/Airmail for emailing my family and friends. I have a battery bank charged by solar and a small generator. Off this I run my station and computers.

Since our winters are sometimes severe I only make the trip to Fairbanks every couple weeks for supplies, mail, and phone calls to my family. My son Anthony (KB3DVS) talked to me about becoming a ‘ham’ for several years. So in 2002 I worked at it and got my first two tickets.

Anthony visits every year and brought up the initial radio gear I needed to get up and running. After a few years of operation, he shipped up a Mosley TA33jr and on his next trip he helped me find, strip, & prepare and mount the mast and antenna on a suitable 38 foot Spruce tree. This was quite an undertaking and included manually pounding in the three guy wire mounts and hand-building all the mounts and cables.

IMG_7983

The tower is sunk a few feet in the permafrost, and there’s a few feet of mast above the tree, so, in the end, we can say that it’s about a 35′ tower, on a hill about 20′ above the road next to it. It faces down a hill, southeast to Canada and North America from Alaska. I have replaced that antenna with a new Mosley TA-33 next to my cabin, when my son visited in 2011.

The picture here was taken in September. I thank him for his efforts to motivate me to become a Ham. I has proved to be a rewarding pastime and fills the many, many long winter nights up here.

My gear reflects my retired nature, but does just ‘FB’. I run a Yaesu FT890 and an Icom 740 through a MFJ 986 out to either a G5RV or the Mosley. I hope to get a real tower up someday, as the tree is splitting and won’t last too much longer. Then I can also fly several dipoles off of it for when I want to work the big bands.

With the hearing going of late I have been more active on PSK and I am exploring other digital modes.

The photo below was taken when my daughter, Tricia, visited.

She, like my son, has learned to enjoy the winter, and its Northern Lights, as well as the summer. Next to the entry way, blue tarp, is the 11 element stacked yagi system I use for my email. On the far side of the house is a 4 element yagi used for 2 meter repeater operation. These come from the generous donation of time and effort by Fairbanks’ own Jerry Curry (KL7EDK), as smart, and humble a ham as you could possibly meet. He is always willing to help out in any way and his generosity is boundless. Many thanks go out to Jerry for everything he’s done over the years.

Ham’s looking for the true Alaskan wilderness experience, or those wishing to operate at the Arctic Circle, or even at the top of the world at Prudhoe bay, give me a shout and I will be glad to help in any way I can.

Come out and enjoy our hobby among the wilderness and the animals in a place truly touched by God.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. AussieAlaskan permalink
    May 11, 2010 8:26 am

    Just found your site this morning from the link posted in the News Miner – love to see the photos of your place – will be checking out the weather “55 miles north of Fairbanks” on line. Regards.

    Like

  2. AussieAlaskan permalink
    May 11, 2010 2:17 pm

    Sorry, just reread your notes – 65 miles north of Fairbanks. Probably won’t make too much difference in the weather :-)

    Like

  3. ccrmom permalink
    May 12, 2010 12:58 am

    My son, who is living in Fbks at Ft. Wainwright has my dad’s hatchet. He inherited it when his Granpa passed about 14 years ago. He has a bear baiting station north of Fbnks, and his brother, also an army guy, visiting from HI came for bear hunting. They went to the stand last week, and as they were moving around, one of the supports broke. My elder son went back to the vehicle to retrieve the hatchet, and using Granpas’ hatchet repaired the stand. He always make sure to tell us when he has a use for that hatchet.. it really means something to him to have part of Granpa with him!!

    Like

    • May 13, 2010 11:37 am

      ‘ccrmom’
      Just like a hand saw I used here on the homestead to help build the cabin. My batteries went dead in my power saw and I wanted to finish a cut. I grabbed my fathers old hand saw and went to work. I remember thinking about my dad working in his garage cutting some wood for shelves… There is always a connection if we allow ourselves to reach for it.

      Like

  4. Vivian permalink
    May 18, 2010 10:59 am

    Hello Pete!

    Found your blog through the arctic cam friends.

    I LOVE Alaska, I love wilderness.

    I am thrilled to be able to read your stories.
    I have read many books about the people who have made Alaska their home, a few native books and, in fact, I have an entire bookcase with nothing but Alaskan books.
    I visit Alaska every year, sometimes by myself ( when there is nobody to go with ) and I still can’t get enough of it :)

    Good night!

    Like

  5. TriciLynn Burokas permalink
    July 5, 2010 12:11 pm

    Finnaly got to the sight!!!!!! pretty impresive!!!! Happy 4th of July

    Like

  6. Rosalyn permalink
    February 8, 2011 5:55 pm

    However, the radio tower is not in permafrost, it is in the potato patch, LOL.

    Like

  7. Eileen permalink
    July 1, 2011 7:56 am

    Hello Pete, I just ran across this website and kept reading to see if it was really you. You may not remember me but I was at Lost Creek Ranch wrangling the horses etc the year that you and your son came up there to do the videos…I think Elizabeth was the young lady that was “traveling” in the video and doing all of the fun stuff. I did come back to help Les and his group on a sheep hunt in the Denali area around 2000 or 2001. I do hear from Rosalyn now and then. Right now trying to get a hold of Cara Cobb to talk business. Sorry to hear that you are not well. Good to hear that your kids get up there and see you now and then. So many changes in that area.

    Like

  8. Zoran permalink
    October 11, 2011 7:04 am

    Dear Pete,
    Your QSL cards arrived today. Thanks a lot.
    I just read you “biography” text, and I think it must be so exciting to live there and even be active on HAM Radio waves.

    My best regards, hope to meet you again my friend.

    Zoran YT9M (more details on qrz.com)

    Like

  9. Al Koenig permalink
    October 18, 2011 4:44 pm

    A few of us are putting together a ham shack in Prudhoe Bay at the BOC. We have to get most of our work done between six and ten PM, more often between eight and ten PM. We are trying to string some wire so that we can get onto 75/80, but do you work on 20? Let me know. I won’t be going back for a couple of weeks +. I do get my email. Give me a hollar!

    Al
    KL2TC

    Like

  10. sky permalink
    December 2, 2011 8:56 am

    Hey. Tricia just sent me this link earlier today, so I thought I’d check it out, and decided to leave you a message since I haven’t talked to you in a while. I’m not going to say much since I’m using my phone right now. I’ll talk to you again soon.

    <3

    Like

  11. Jurgen permalink
    July 19, 2012 7:58 am

    Hi Pete,

    I just wanted to say hi to you after reading your Op-Ed in qst magazine.

    73 and God bless,
    Jurgen, PA3KC

    Like

  12. larry esco permalink
    July 20, 2012 3:23 am

    Hey Pete, Enjoyed the article in QST. 73, Larry, KC4APH

    Like

  13. Larry herbert permalink
    July 27, 2012 11:01 pm

    Nice site. Hope to chat sometime

    Like

  14. ricksantorumfanclub permalink
    August 11, 2012 9:55 am

    just read your article in Qst enjoyed you have nice blog. I am a red conservative also maybe we meet on the radio your friend Walt w4pb

    Like

  15. January 31, 2013 11:46 pm

    I stumbled across ur bolg, while googling “living w/o oil n oil products” I read a few of ur stories, n found that we share some simalar ideals. I am subscribing to ur blog n inviting u to take a peak at mine. I have been on a break from writing, but u hv been very inspiring. Thank you.

    Like

  16. moutnaingirl permalink
    March 5, 2013 12:37 pm

    I love your blog! I nominated you for a blog award. http://moutnaingirl.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/liebster-blog/

    Like

  17. August 2, 2013 9:13 am

    You are in the best place to watch the Northern Lights!!!!! :D So many people’s dream destination!!! :D

    Liked by 1 person

  18. September 4, 2013 10:06 pm

    My Dad was a ham; KL7FM, out of Juneau, later out of Edmonds, WA. It gave him hours of enjoyment. His favorite card was from King Hussain of Jordan, also a ham operator while he was alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. spiritualphilosopher2013 permalink
    October 14, 2013 12:52 am

    I envy your you! Love the cabin! Hey, I just wanted to say I appreciate the comment on my article. :) I just went ahead and deleted it all together to save readers any confusion. Have a blessed day friend. :)

    Like

  20. Woody permalink
    October 23, 2013 6:33 am

    Hi Pete, I just heard you on 10 mtrs, you were very loud into N. Ala., I looked you up on qrz and found your site, been reading your blog and looking at pic’s, enjoyed it very much and your views!!!! I’ll look for you again on 10 in the afternoon’s here in Ala.
    73’s
    Woody “KO4BG”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. December 25, 2013 3:45 am

    Thanks for visiting! Your life sounds very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Laura Hilger permalink
    January 9, 2014 8:23 am

    Awesome! I lived in the interior for years, but not as off the grid as you. I didn’t have a phone or water or internet either, but nothing compared to what you’re doing. Do you like Seth Kantner? He writes amazing stuff about Alaskan life so if you haven’t read him, I’d recommend his work, especially Ordinary Wolves. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll continue to read your work.

    Like

    • January 9, 2014 8:58 am

      Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting. I have a small library of Alaskan authors but the name is not familiar. I will look him up, thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laura Hilger permalink
        January 9, 2014 9:00 am

        You’re welcome! Great, you will not be disappointed!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. January 9, 2014 1:49 pm

    Just reading about your ham experiences has ignited a ‘fire of interest’ in obtaining a ham radio license for myself. I’m going to be looking into what is involved; it does sound like something I will enjoy doing. Thanks so much for all your shared wisdom and perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. April 17, 2014 1:37 pm

    long time no hear Pete hope all is well I sent you a win mail just now hope you can still get them stay warm kj4biz

    Liked by 1 person

  25. May 23, 2014 8:21 am

    Hello, Pete, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve been coming to Alaska for years (my daughter studied at UAF and now works here as a surgeon), but recently since my daughter and her family moved to Fairbanks, I’m in AK about a quarter of the time.

    You embody the courageous Alaskan spirit, as far as I can tell, and I look forward to reading your posts and learning from your adventures.

    Wondering about the loneliness factor in being so on your own (because we’re considering moving north). Does it ever get to you or are you just too darn busy surviving for it to be an issue? I’m and artist and writer, as is my husband, so I know that would fill a chunk of time.

    Your cabin and its setting, by the way, look beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. July 6, 2014 2:29 pm

    Pete,
    Thank you for stopping by “Not Pretending” and deciding to follow along! I just got back from an Alaskan inland waterway cruise and will be posting about that adventure!
    You may find it amusing. What a beautiful place you live in!
    Jodi Lea

    Liked by 1 person

  27. July 19, 2014 8:41 pm

    Thanks Pete. Really pleased to have found your blog. Quite a life story! Lots to explore. I had a months backpacking trip in Alaska many years ago with many fond memories. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (drop a nickel).

    Liked by 1 person

  28. July 31, 2014 9:49 pm

    Wow… You live!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. October 20, 2014 10:03 pm

    Looks like you’ve done it right! No Like Button?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. November 30, 2014 3:11 am

    What a great way to live! Thanks for following FIGHTER FAITH. I’m providing a free copy of my e-book Far Better Men to service members, veterans, and e-mail subcribers. Come on back if you’re interested in this free digital download.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. December 31, 2014 12:37 am

    i have this tendency to struggle with insomnia. and on nights like this, i start stumbling around the web. your blog came up as recommended, so i came to take a look and try to figure out WHY it was recommended. apparently someone i follow also follows you. i can only guess that fellow follower must be my brother, Dave. tell him i said hello when he returns after the holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. January 3, 2015 7:22 pm

    Thank you for liking my article, Is It Really Just Science? My wife would love it in Alaska. I would love the fishing and nature, but it looks like a lot of work. I think I will sit and write in the lower 48 and daydream read your blog about Alaska instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. January 10, 2015 6:34 am

    Thanks for the like on The Expositrix, Pete! Stay warm up there!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Rejoysfull permalink
    January 22, 2015 8:11 pm

    You are 65 miles north of Fbks are you along the Steese or the Elliot hwy? My Mom and Dad developed Cleary Summit which is 21 mile Steese Hwy next to the old Pedro Dome Communication center. :)
    Thanks for dropping by my blog. :) My Dad was from Pa too.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. James Groover permalink
    February 5, 2015 8:12 am

    Hi Pete, I’m glad you enjoy my blog posts. My wife and I took a cruise to Alaska a few years ago. We were able to see the bears along the shore line and was simply amazed by the millions of acres of timberland. It was truely beautiful, but I don’t think I could live like you do. I guess I’m too much of a city kind of guy:>)

    Liked by 1 person

  36. February 19, 2015 11:24 pm

    Greeting Pete from N6IJB, Gordon–in Bayside, Ca 300 miles north of San Francisco on the coast. We could try a QSO on 20 or maybe 15 if you like.

    http://bikesocial.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  37. May 13, 2015 3:00 pm

    Just found this site and I’m very glad that I did! I was born at Elmendorf AFB and while we were stationed there (I have no memories of it…..we moved to DC when I was 2), my future sister-in-law was living in Fairbanks at the AFB there. I’m a sponge soaking up anything I can read about my birth-state.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Carter permalink
    June 2, 2015 3:51 pm

    Hi Pete just a quick reply. I was born and raised in Ardsley, NE Philly near Willow Grove. Be well. Carter

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 17, 2016 7:29 am

      Sorry I am credulously slow in responding to comments.. Love going up to Willow Grove to see the Blue Angels at the air show.

      Like

  39. February 19, 2016 10:38 pm

    I found you through a link from a Christian blogger and ally. (my comment on your post about cellphones)
    Brr – I get enough of winter in my adopted state of NV. Been here almost 20 years. Blame it on being born in AZ; I’ll take 95 in the shade to 10 degrees any day of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 17, 2016 7:27 am

      AZ may be warmer than my old cabin home but since I have moved to Texas and it’s 100 degree heat I really miss my ‘cooler’ weather!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. June 13, 2016 1:53 pm

    Awesome blog Pete and so happy you are able to live your dream. We had dreamed of living in the Upper Penninsula about 7 hours north of our “work camp” in southern Michigan but my husband’s arthritis seems too bad for us to stay up there all through the winter. Your blog is lovely and I’d like to follow it.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. June 19, 2016 4:45 pm

    Thanks, Pete :) Can see great writing here!
    Read my other works too :)

    Liked by 1 person

  42. October 31, 2016 8:28 am

    I envy your lifestyle!!!

    Like

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