A Walk on the Wild Side

White Bear Lake native showcases his remote project on DIY Network’s Building Alaska.

Nick Blanco moved to Alaska for a different type of life. “It’s really satisfying to live off the land,” Blanco says. “You’re responsible for doing a lot of what you need on a daily basis, and I really enjoy that.”

Blanco was teaching middle school in Shishmaref, Alaska, and had a dream to create a fishing lodge near Kodiak for the local families and kids. He was asked to participate in DIY Network’s Building Alaska after a former employer he bought a sawmill and property from told them about Blanco’s project.

“[The production team] came out here like once a month throughout my build for about a week, and they just covered what was going on and the difficulties of building in a remote place like this,” Blanco says.

Blanco was featured in eight episodes of the show, which aired February through April; you can catch the episodes online at diynetwork.com.

“I really think that maybe [my story] will help somebody realize [anything is] possible, to not be afraid of challenges,” Blanco says. “And to understand that if you think and plan all the time, and you never get to the doing part, that your dream is not going to happen.”