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Sarah Palin’s Alaska – Season 1 not only gives you a breathtaking and informative view of the vast, harsh, rugged and beautiful wilderness of our 49th and largest State; but it also gives you a whole new outlook of Sarah Palin and her family in their personal, day-to-day lives.
Sarah Louise Heath was born in Sandpoint, Idaho; and at a few months of age, she and her family moved to Skagway, Alaska. They then moved to Wasilla in 1972; and this is where Sarah currently lives with her husband and high-school sweetheart, Todd, and their five children, Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. When Sarah and Todd were first married, Sarah helped her husband with his commercial fishing business which he still owns.
Sarah has a notable educational, political and personal life…much too full to encapsulate in this review.
Sarah Palin’s Alaska debuted on TLC in 2010. A brief synopsis of the episodes follows:
Episode 1 – Mama Grizzly
Even in the vast wilderness of Alaska, the Palins have had to erect a 14-foot fence to block a next door neighbor that is writing a story on the Palins…and they don’t think it’s going to be complimentary. The family goes salmon fishing after taking a bush plan into bear country. Sarah does some mountain climbing on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park.
Episode 2 – Just for the Halibut
Sarah, Todd and Bristol do some clay pigeon shooting. Sarah and Bristol board a commercial halibut fishing boat and do some hard labor as they stun and cut up the fish. The second day they join the “slime line” and learn how the fish is processed. They also fit in some sea kayaking and clam digging.
Episode 3 – Salmon Run
The July 4th tradition is for the family to fish for salmon in Bristol Bay…Yes, that’s how Bristol got her name! Bristol Bay has the largest salmon run on the planet. On her birthday, Willow learns how to gut a fish.
Episode 4 – She’s a Great Shot
Sarah, her dad and a family friend go caribou hunting 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The area is totally remote and can only be reached by a one-passenger Piper Cub.
Episode 5 – Alaskan Hospitality
I’m sorry, my dear readers; but this was one of my favorite episodes. Kate Gosselin and her eight adorable children were already in Alaska filming an episode of “Kate Plus 8”; and since Piper is a big fan of the show, Sarah and Tom invited the Gosselins to join them on a camping trip. After a training course called “Learn to Return”, which included demonstrations of what to do if a bear attacks, the family is ready to take a bush plane to a spot near the southern border of Denali National Park. The Gosselin children were having a blast; but it was cold and rainy. You can probably figure out where this episode was heading.
Episode 6 – Rafting & Dog Mushing
The family goes white water rafting and ATVing. Sarah and Piper go to Peggy’s Pies to help out. Sarah wanted Piper to know what it’s like to work and spend all day on your feet. Piper and Sarah get a chance to go dog sledding on the Punchbowl Glacier.
Episode 7 – Logging
Todd and Sarah get a taste of the hard work involved in logging. Todd and Willow visit Kodiak Island Raceway.
Episode 8 – Gold Mining and Oil
The family visits a Reindeer Farm, the end of the oil pipeline in Valdez, pan and dredge for gold at the Cripple River Mining Camp, see a herd of musk ox and watch the Blue Angels fly their maneuvers. The Palins use the gold they found for a special gift.
Episode 9 – Follow Me There
Unseen footage and favorite moments from the First Season are shown.
“I love this state like I love my family.” Sarah Palin
My reactions to this series were totally unexpected. I enjoyed the breathtaking scenery and wildlife…That’s a given…but I did not expect that my opinion of Sarah Palin would change so drastically. While I still don’t care for her politically, I have a great respect for this woman. She is as tough as nails, she has the courage to try things that scare her, she has a strong work ethic and is respectful to everyone that she meets. She has ingrained these qualities into her children as well. The children have also have learned to enjoy the state that they live in to the fullest. This is not a family that spends their days in the house in front of TVs or computers. This is a family that goes outdoors and embraces everything that is Alaska. Sarah is very deliberate in planning as much family time as she possibly can.
Sarah is a crack shot and bagged a caribou for the freezer to carry them through the winter. She can also fish for salmon. As Sarah says, “There isn’t a supermarket around the corner.” If you want to eat, you have to go out and shoot it or catch it.
Watch it for the scenery. Watch it for the wildlife…or watch it to get to know the Palins. Whatever the reason, I highly recommend this series. This is a series that may be beneficial for teens. It shows a perfect example of a family that is respectful, not afraid of hard work or getting its hands dirty.
This series is on DVD and is rated PG. I have seen nothing to indicate that there will be another season airing anytime soon.
Thank you for stopping by and happy viewing.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older