I’ve had scary moments. There’s been a bear that visited the cabin once. When it’s 30 below, you definitely question your sanity a little bit. But those experiences just amount to living a full life, in my opinion.


Ali Towers and Scott Anthony first came to McCarthy in the summertime. When a couple needed a caretaker for their cabin, they traded in a winter in Hawaii for cold weather gear, a generator, a chainsaw and a snow machine. They decided to stay through the winter together in a tiny cabin, and they'd only just met a few months before.

The odds were against them. They didn't know how to run a chainsaw or how to get water. They didn't know how to go grocery shopping for four months at a time.

They didn't know how to live life out here in the wintertime.

On this episode of Out Here, hear how they fared their first winter. Then, Mark Vail, a 30-year resident of the McCarthy talks about day-to-day life. He'll answer the question that resident Greg Fensterman says he gets all the time from summertime tourists.

"What do you do all winter?"

And several residents share how and why they live off-grid and have decided against a 9-to-5 lifestyle. Hear how they make money in a place without a wintertime economy, and hear the nitty-gritty of life in a cold weather climate. 

 Things like to break here all at once. And everything always takes longer than it should. Life out here takes patience. And a whole lot of floundering.

Music from Galen Huckins and Blue Dot Sessions / Winter Theme, Ultima Thule, Rapids, Hammer and Damper / Also music from Martin Morrison and Pete Seger / Episode artwork from Ian Gyori / Financial assistance from the Duffy Fund and the University of Missouri / Guidance and support from Scott Swafford, Sara Shahriari and Dr. Cristina Mislan / Featured in this episode: Ali Towers, Scott Anthony, Ian Gyori, Malcolm Vance, Mark Vail, Karla Freivalds, Gary Green, Greg Runyan and John Adams