Alone Week 7: A bird sacrifice for Zach
For the last six weeks, Penobscot Bay Pilot has been following Appleton resident Zachary Fowler, a contestant on A&E Networks' HISTORY survivalist show, Alone unscripted series and every Thursday night we’re waiting to see if he made the cut. Well, he’s still hanging strong. After two months surviving alone in the Patagonia Wilderness, he’s up against five other contestants with only three episodes to go!
Pilot: Poor Greg who tapped out this episode due to extreme hypothermia. When he said his dreams of retirement are gone, his dreams of building a house for his daughter dashed and all he has to look forward to now is going back to drywall. Did that hit home for you?
Zach: Yeah, it did. I feel the same way. I wanted to be able to come back to build a house for my family. [Note: Zach, like the rest of the contestants, still do not know who has won the $500,000 prize.]
Pilot: Do you have empathy watching the circumstances in which the other contestants have to tap out?
Zach: Um, yeah. I do now. But, when I was out there, there were a few moments when it would be snowing or sleeting and I was having a bad day and hoped they were too, and that it would be enough to make them tap out.
Pilot: In this episode you made what is called an arapuca bird trap used by the Guarani people of South America. How did you know how to make that?
Zach: I read about it in an old book and I tried making one at home first. When I was in Patagonia and saw that little bird poking around I decided I was going to make one and have him for dinner.
Pilot: What else did you make this episode?
Zach: I made a fire blower and chopsticks. The fire blower was a hollow bamboo tube that worked as bellows. You blow it into the embers and it sparks up pretty quickly. I saw that someone had made one is Season 2 of Alone, so I wasn’t going to do it. But, after a couple of days thinking of projects to do, and after making this, I decided l’d never go camping without a fire blower again. What a difference that little piece of tubing makes.
Pilot: After dancing around with that bird and it outsmarting your trap this episode, you finally trapped it and had it for dinner. Only 20 calories and a few grams of protein came from it; was it worth it?
Zach: There was so much more to it than that. It wasn’t just dinner. I felt like it was my daughter’s spirit bird, a sparrow. We chased each other around and he escaped my trap several times. It was a battle and I finally got him and had him for dinner and achievement wise, it was worth so much more than the calories I got.
Pilot: How are you making your Makery and Mischief videos in the yurt?
Zach: I actually have a Macbook Pro that my brother gave me and edit them on it. I either fire up the generator and work on videos at home or I’ll go to the library and work on them.
Stay tuned to watch Zach in HISTORY’s next episode of Alone, airing Thursday at 9 p.m.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com