Author : Dorene Schiro


In April of 2004 Jill Heimke had written to Dorene and captured the longing for wilderness, solitude and rest many associated with Oliver’s home on the lake: “It is peaceful out there and I long to hear the loons and walk the land again,” she wrote. Now, as 2010 progressed, spring came again to Alaska. […]

Chapter 15 – Culmination

By 2005 Oliver’s family and friends were questioning the wisdom of his being alone out at his homesite. While he was physically frail, Oliver did plan to return to his lakeside home after his 2005 Norway visit, and his plans raised alarms in his closest circle. Dorene, in addition to her concerns about Oliver’s health […]

Chapter 14 – Wilderness Camp

Oliver’s Norwegian friends, Rein and Heidi Dammann, had long envisioned a camp built to share the knowledge and skills they had learned in Alaska and in their other travels among indigenous people. The camp was to be built with no power tools and of local forest materials, every bit of the camp furnishings constructed by […]

Chapter 13 – New House

Oliver continued his life at the lake, moving ahead with the new house begun with Rein’s help. However, he was still having problems with the grizzly. In July of 1997 he wrote: I put some bracing on the cache to steady it while building. Intended to change it but didn’t think a bear would get […]

Chapter 12 – Grizzly

Oliver’s life was enmeshed with the Alaskan wilderness, making him responsible for his own survival, a challenge he heartily embraced. Not only did he strive for self-sufficiency in designing and building his own home and caches, custom-crafting his own tools, and gathering and preserving his own food, but he was also liable for his own […]

Chapter 9 – Making the Move

Oliver had decided to leave Ambler, but there was much to do and many decisions yet to be made. He wasn’t always sure of his direction.  In the meantime, he continued to work on Thoughts Born of Turmoil, the manifesto of his philosophical beliefs, and also had preliminary booklets printed to address a growing demand. […]

Chapter 7 – Ambler

The village of Ambler is situated at the confluence of the Ambler and Kobuk Rivers about 130 air miles east of Kotzebue. When the Cameron family stopped there for the night in the fall of 1958, the first settlers in the brand new community had just moved down from the upriver villages of Shungnak and […]

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