Oral History Interviews:
Ken Deardorff grew up in California dreaming of a life in the Far North. His dream was fueled by an uncle who gave young Ken subscriptions to outdoor magazines. After college, Ken moved to Alaska and homesteaded on a remote river south of McGrath. While living in a small nylon tent in February, Ken built a small cabin. When his wife arrived, they immediately embarked on another, larger cabin.
In the years that followed, the young family lived an adventurous lifestyle. Persistent bears were shot so close to the cabin that the door was jammed. Aggressive moose charged snow machines and chased the family up trees. A moose shot at last light on a riverbank attracted a bear overnight. When Ken and his hunting partner arrived the next morning, the bear almost jumped into the boat. Ken and a trapping partner were thrust into a survival situation when a third partner didn't arrive with expected food and gear.
Ken is a keen observer of geography, weather and wildlife. His extensive experience trapping marten reveals new interpretations of population fluctuations and trapping techniques. Ken believes that multiple factors have caused the drastic decline of the moose population in the McGrath area.
Ken has fulfilled his boyhood dream of living in the remote Far North. His stories help the listener share his dream.