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Details about  Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream Alaskan Documentary

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Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream Alaskan Documentary
Item Sold
Item condition:
Brand New
May 05, 2012
US $23.95
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Item location:
Homer, Alaska, United States


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Last updated on  Mar 14, 2012 19:05:19 PDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Brand New: An item that has never been opened or removed from the manufacturer’s sealing (if applicable). Item ... Read moreabout the condition
Format: DVD
Edition: -- Rating: --
Genre: Documentary Sub-Genre: Humanity
Region: --

Arctic Son Fulfilling The Dream


2-Disc DVD Set: Total Run Time 155 Minutes (2hr 35min)

In the spring of 1992 author Jeanie Aspen, daughter of Alaskan adventurers Constance and Bud Helmericks, set out with her husband, Tom, their 6-year-old son, Luke, and friend Laurie for fourteen months alone in Alaska’s remote Brooks Range. Flown into the wilderness, the four strive to gain a foothold before winter reclaims the land, a hundred miles from the nearest other people. The following summer they face a perilous 600-mile downriver canoe journey back to the world they left behind.

As professional artists, Tom and Jeanie readily incorporate the camera into family life, candidly recording their struggles and triumphs against the awesome beauty of America’s last great wilderness. Each member of the small family shares honestly the challenges of this new life. Luke’s entries are charming and poignant as we watch him mature under the tutelage of arctic wilderness. Extraordinary historic footage of Jeanie as a child in the Brooks Range adds depth to this story of pioneer spirit and evolving relationships.


FILMED IN 1992... Almost a decade before "Survivor" began and with more truth than "Reality" television shows.

Although I sell primarily photography related products, I do have other interests and also like to see locally made products succeed beyond the small town in which I am living.  This documentary is one such example of something I feel needs to reach a broader audience!  Eventually you will see an "Alaska Made" section to my store; when you do, please be sure to check it out... maybe you'll find something interesting to add to your order (I do combine shipping you know).

All images and text within this listing are wholly owned by Jean Aspen and Tom Irons and are used with permission and encouragement.  I am an authorized reseller of this product.

This film is not yet rated; however it will be aired May 2011 in its entirety on Alaska PBS Television and is generally considered "family" in nature. 

 I have allowed my 2-year-old to view it (and he loves it).

The DVD's are in the NTSC Format; therefore buyers with PAL players should confirm compatibility. 



As a daughter of arctic adventurers I spent my early life in Alaskan wilderness. When my parents divorced, my little sister Annie and I moved with our mother, author Constance Helmericks, to Tucson, Arizona. We were young teens when our mother took us by canoe to the Arctic Ocean through Canada, a journey of three thousand miles that spanned two summers and resulted in Connie’s 7th book, Down the Wild River North, (1968). I was seventeen when we again set out, this time for a year driving around outback Australia. The roads were dirt and the land was still wild. Our mother’s 8th book, Australian Adventure, (1971) contains a chapter that I wrote.

Jean Aspen

It was perhaps inevitable that I would undertake my own adventures. In my early twenties I spent four years with a friend living in complete isolation off the land in Alaska’s remote Brooks Range. We floated down the Yukon River and pulled our canoe far up a tributary into the mountains. Autumn found us near tree line, building a cabin and hunting for food to see us through the arctic winter. This story is recounted in my first book, Arctic Daughter: a Wilderness Journey, (1988) which was condensed by Reader’s Digest, (Nov. 1993).

In 1983 I married Tom Irons, a farm boy from Ohio with nine years service in the Navy. We built a rustic home and Aspen-Irons art glass studio in the Tucson Mountains and for over two decades we designed and crafted large architectural projects in leaded, stained, beveled and etched glass for homes and churches across the Southwest.

However, the lure of arctic wilderness continued to whisper through my dreams. Our son Lucas was four when we took him and my sister into the Brooks Range. We chartered a floatplane and landed on the wild river of my youth. During the brief arctic summer we paddled down past my old cabin, camping on river bars and in forests. That summer Tom fell in love with wilderness. We spoke excitedly around our campfire of returning someday to build a cabin of our own.

Tom Irons

Two springs later Tom, Luke and I were back with a woman friend, a year’s supply of dried food, and the tools to build our cabin. This is the focus of my second book, Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream (1995). For fourteen months we lived alone, gaining a foothold in this beautiful and sometimes treacherous landscape. We filmed our daily lives and struggles in ninety hours of video footage.

Through the ensuing nineteen years we have labored to craft a documentary. Although frustrating, time has added depth to the work, which spans three generations and two decades of perspective. Tom, Lucas and I are proud to finally announce the video documentary Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream. A companion book of the same name is also available in limited quantity.

Arctic wilderness has remained fundamental to our family. Tom and I settled in small town in Alaska but still spend several months each year at our remote cabin. Lucas sometimes joins us. This gift we share through our art, writing and photographs.


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