About the podcast

Out Here tells the stories of people who've dared to live life differently. Focused on the end-of-the-road community of McCarthy, Alaska, and the surrounding area, it explores off-the-grid living, raising children in the wilderness, bucking the nine-to-five lifestyle, subsistence living (or not) and life in a community of individuals with little official governance.

Oh yeah. And a bear story or two.

Think of it like a book with an intro and seven chapters. All of the episodes are derived from personal experience and interviews with 18 residents of the McCarthy area.

In a community of individuals, there are so many more stories and perspectives. This podcast represents only a sliver of this place.


Out Here is supported in part by a Duffy Fund Grant and financial assistance from the University of Missouri. Music comes from Galen Huckins and Blue Dot Sessions. Ian Gyori created the logo and episode artwork. Thanks to the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Scott Swafford, Sara Shahriari and Dr. Cristina Mislan for the support.

And to all those who agreed to be interviewed. In no particular order: Martin Morrison, Carole Morrison, Tamara Harper, Stephens Harper, Greg Fensterman, Greg Runyan, Kristin Link, Hannah Rowland, David Rowland, Laurie Rowland, Karla Freivalds, Ali Towers, Scott Anthony, Malcolm Vance, Mark Vail, Gary Green, John Adams and Ian Gyori.



Erin McKinstry has a master’s from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She has reported stories for Alaska Public Media, Harvest Public Media, The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, The Trace, KBIA and The Columbia Missourian. She also edits the podcast Life TK.  You can find more of her work at www.erinmckinstry.com. You can read her thoughts about her first winter in McCarthy at www.lifewithoutasphalt.weebly.com

Erin first came to McCarthy in May 2015 to work for a local hotel. She fell in love with the place and the people and stayed through her first winter, struggling with the dark and the cold but making it through thanks to the beauty, the help of her partner and the community. She and her partner are in the process of building a home together with their dog Benny.

She hopes you can learn a bit about taking the path less traveled. 

If you want to contact her, you can send an email to emckinstry8 at gmail dot com. Follow her on twitter at @erinmckinst.