Doug Fine is an all-around man of the land. The journalist held a presentation and book signing in the University of Alaska Anchorage Bookstore Sept. 23. Fine’s book about his adventures of survival in Alaska, “Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man,” was released Sept. 1.
Fine has written for the Washington Post and US News. His stories have been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
Fine always wanted to write a novel, he just never knew what to write it about until he made his way to Alaska.
“I moved up here and as winter started coming on I realized, ‘Man, I am really bad at doing what’s needed to survive up here.’ I thought that would make the perfect storyline for a book,” Fine said.
Fine fostered a love of nature “from many a hellish family vacation” and managed to harbor that love of the outdoors ever since. Having been raised to believe that chopping wood was for lumberjacks and hunting your own food was for the 1600s, Fine was ill-prepared for his move to a deserted cabin 11 miles out of Homer, Alaska. After surviving his first winter, he traversed Alaska while writing of his misadventures.
In his book, Fine unravels tales of his “rite of passage through being a cheechako.” The portion of stories he read during his presentation and slide show ranged from his inability to start a chainsaw to close calls with polar bears.
Born in New York, Fine started his career as a reporter, but he always had a bad case of the traveling bug. He took his journalism skills all over the world, writing stories from five continents and a dozen countries. Fine made his way from Tajikistan to Guatemala, but it was in Alaska that he found something none of the other places had.
“In Alaska I found a place that just felt like home,” Fine said.
Five years after his initial visit, Fine continued his travel reporting but he returned to Alaska to settle down.
Fine is working toward a sequel, “Not Really an Alaskan River Guide.”
Though he may not be an Alaska mountain man, he is defiantly an Alaskan.