There are now seven people left on Alone. As the History reality series warns: Do not attempt to try this! Patagonia is no joke.
Alone on History is addictive, and makes us yearn to hike and explore remote Patagonia. But living there…alone and with few creature comforts and minimal calories makes one stop and pause. You cannot eat scenery.
Episode 305 was titled The Lone Wolf, and so far, five episodes into this series, our favorites are the inventive and creative Appleton, Maine bushman Fowler and the Canadian single dad Greg. Herbalist Callie is remarkable too in her problem solving and designs.
“Fishhead soup, too bad you taste like poop,” sings Fowler, whose quest for some sunshine and his drive to finish his shelter are up first.
“Do I have the strength to see it through?” he asks.
He wants a shelter he can stand in with a fire inside so he can weather the winter with a bit of bush style. Fowler’s double thick walls filled with plants and moss are looking good as the Downeaster awaits the cold snow and rain.
What is great about Fowler is he takes the time to explain to the viewer what he is doing, how he does it and why he needs what he needs.
Not all of them do this, or very thoroughly like Fowler does. I realize watching this that I would watch a series featuring him in any location as he builds a structure and shows how he traps prey to eat and sustain himself.
Alone flips over to Greg, the plucky funny Canadian who is really adept at sussing out his reality. His traps have not worked, the fox is bedeviling him, and the words of his daughter are keeping him going.
“I go to bed hungry, most nights,” he says. The dreams of “rainbows and brookies” [trout] keeping him in motion as he fights the despair. “I’m not a quitter,” Greg says, as his latest invention is a raft that he precariously takes out into the lake.
“I’m not into killing myself over it, cold water is no fun,” says Greg, who presses on to the next task.
Next we switch to Carleigh, the Edna Bay, Arkansas, woman who is trying to gather firewood. “I love my house, it feels like I am coming home…a place of safety and comfort…it’s awesome,” she says.
Carleigh appears to genuinely love the solitude, and that is half the battle, being comfortable in your own company. Like Fowler, Carleigh is inventive yet much more introspective about why she is there, as Fowler and to some extent Greg are more like tutors to us viewers.
A strange noise has made Carleigh turn on the cameras as she investigates. Day 36 and night-time sees her look for the source of the sound. She notes “it could be dangerous” as two glowing eyes are picked up by the cameras. She reflects on pumas and her place in the food chain, and turns in.
Now we head to Dave’s encampment. He is gaunt. He is emotional, overwrought and the exact opposite of Fowler.
His hunger has produced some sort of manic behavioral discourse as he explains they were all warned not to hunt rodents because of the hantavirus. “That is so disappointing, I feel like its going to be a hunger-fest,” he says, then he screams and curses on camera out of frustration.
Back to Greg. Day 37 sees him optimistic. “The raft works, it floats me but it’s very unstable,” he says, as he explains how he is shoring it up and his plans to fish more productively.
“My entire life depends on this,” he adds, as he tells us how his plans to provide for his daughter are what is driving him.
Greg’s raft really works! We see him set off in a provided-for life vest as he attempts to get to the river for more fish.
The water is 44 degrees, and it is intense as we watch him flirt with exposure and hypothermia in his maiden voyage as he jokingly calls his raft the “Titanic”.
He gets a nice fish in his first outing, a beauty of a rainbow trout. Greg says: “It’s the biggest fish I caught here, now I’m in the groove!”
Day 38, we flip back to Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, native Dan. His house looks good, as he fantasizes on camera about cupcakes.
He has a great sunny spot that looks more protected than the others from the wind. But he is conversationally scattered in his talks on camera. More like Dave, who we flip back to.
“I gotta get food in me, I’m really hitting an energy low today,” laments Dave as he still bitches he cannot eat any mice. He is now making fly lures for fish. He ponders turning 50 alone. “I feel frustrated,” he says.
Finally, he catches a fish. “Hell yeah!” He eats the fish egg roe and is grateful for the catch. “That’s good food [holds the roe and fish] keeping me out here,” he says. So far, Dave is not tapping out.
Day 39, seven people left. Fowler is busy checking his traps. “Nothing. Something has nibbled off the bait…I do need to get more traps going for me,” he says. Fowler is adamant he needs to find rocks and stones for his fireplace, as he climbs eight stories to his shelter, daily.
Back to Dan, who is contemplative. He is frustrated the animals he normally traps are not in Patagonia. His usage of steel traps in not happening here as he evaluates every calorie. “Are other people traveling up and down a mountain every day?” he asks, wondering how the others are doing it.
Fowler is pushing his limits. “I made it, all the way up,”he says, as his heavy rocks line the fire pit. “I’m a maker…God might have given me Dyslexia, but he’s gifted me the ability to make stuff with my hands, and I would never trade that,” he says.
Fowler’s structure is solid, a thing of beauty, as we marvel at the engineering he has put into this.
Day 40 sees Fowler keeping his mind busy as he enjoys his new domicile.
Day 41 and we are back to Dan, who seems to be sliding into a manic depressive state. He is appearing to wear out. “I feel positive, I’m on the right track…” he says, but his words feel hollow.
Fowler is having a bad Day 42. “I’ve reached the limit with my strength,” he says. His shelter completion has him knackered. “I’m concerned my body is not cut out for this,” he adds. Oh dear.
Day 43 we head to Camp Callie. This Washington state herbalist has been eating all kinds of flora and berries. She has built an admirable encampment.
Callie says: “Life out here is all about finding the rhythm and flow.” Now she is building a sauna! And wind-chimes! And she does it perfectly, even building a safety grate so an exploding heated river rock doesn’t hurt her. She needs to get with Fowler. They are perfect for each other.
“A part of me is still missing the old me, I am dying many deaths daily,” she says. She then reveals she is starting to feel closure coming to this journey. Oh please, no!
Thankfully her sauna restores her. She enters naked, and thinks she needs children, partnership, and a business venture. Closure to Patagonia is what appears to be happening but she totally fakes us out. She’s in it to win the $500,000. challenge.
Alone airs Thursdays at 9/8c on History.