The Legend of Mick Dodge – Twenty-five years ago, Mick Dodge left the modern world behind. He ventured deep into the Hoh Rainforest in the Pacific Northwest, kicked off his shoes (literally!) and made his home in the trees, hidden in the moss. He was only rarely seen by the outside world, until he agreed to let our film crew record his unusual life.
This series follows the wild life of Mick Dodge, a quirky character whose unique brand of Zen comes from living off the land and off the grid. Every day in Mick’s life is a different adventure; some days are spent hanging in the trees, others are spent bedding down with elk, building a mountain-man raft or running barefoot for miles. Nights are spent in tree stumps.
He has been called “the Forrest Gump of Middle Earth,” “Tree Beard,” “the Barefoot Sensei,” “the Hobbit” and “Big Foot.” Whatever you call him, Mick lives life by his own unique philosophy. Pinecone on a stick? A toothbrush. Candy Cap mushroom? A water fountain. Fern leaves? Toilet paper! A long white beard drapes his face and tattoos of roots adorn his feet, marking the connection he feels to the path he walks.
Though he lives far from civilization, Mick’s world is populated by a unique breed of outdoorsmen with names like Sunray, Moss Hopper and Will of Stone. And when he does venture out from the woods into the modern world, it is to spread his message of being one with nature, before he quickly disappears back into the natural world. His true home is in the forest community made up of men living life on their own terms.
The Legend of Mick Dodge: Meet the Legend – After waking up in the stump of an old tree, Mick sojourns to a remote spot called the Highlands — a place that looks out over the entire valley and holds special significance to his family. The purpose of his journey: to fulfill his father’s dying wish by spreading his dad’s ashes over the land. But before Mick can carry his dad up to the mountains, he will first have to remember where he stashed him. He’ll cross dizzying mountain cliffs, encountering strange creatures and unique terrain en route. As he approaches the end of his quest, we learn the Dodge family secret that has allowed them to survive for generations in inhospitable conditions.
The Legend of Mick Dodge: Trading Up – In the Hoh Rainforest, Mick uses a prized bow and Arrow gifted to him by his grandfather. But when he goes to retrieve it from a stash, it’s gone, stolen from its hiding spot. Mick makes a plan to replace the bow utilizing the age-old economy of bartering and trading. There’s only one man he knows who can craft him a new one: a legendary Archer named Norm. To find the currency he needs for the trade, he’ll head to “The Boneyard,” which is filled with remnants and scraps from previous logging.
The Legend of Mick Dodge: Hunger Pains – Living in the Hoh Rainforest, Mick Dodge doesn’t have easy access to food. He survives off mostly vegetation, but he also needs protein. After almost a week without a decent meal, he sets out to scour the Olympic Peninsula for protein. As he begins his outing, he shows just how desperate he is becoming — investigating elk feces for larvae eggs to eat. Then, Mick runs into a man named Will of Stone, who joins him in the food hunt at The River. Mick dives headfirst to illustrate to Will how to catch fish without tackle. Afterwards, his next food stop: the road. Mick has learned over the years that cars often hit animals, and as disgusting as it might sound to city dwellers … road kill is good food.
The Legend of Mick Dodge: Mending Mick – Mick is fighting a bad case of “Beaver Fever,” an illness that’s left his belly aching. For a remedy, he’ll rely on a time-tested healing process he’s devised using only the forest. The first step is a trip to the forest physician, Doc Gair, who has been living in the woods practicing forest medicine for ages. The two men collect natural ingredients to brew up a cure-all elixir. Next, Mick digs up a rustic relic he’s had stashed in a tree for more than 20 years in order to build a wet wood sauna. After spending all night baking in the 120-degree heat, Mick knows he’s beginning to purge the toxins from his body. Lastly, he’ll employ an old family remedy that involves diving into frigid glacial waters over several hours.
Channel: National Geographic Channel
Producer: Screaming Flea Productions / Pawn & A King Productions / Interchange Media Art Productions
TX: 7th January 2014