October 13th, 2009
07:44 PM ET
11 years ago

From Congressman to Survivorman


After two years of planning, Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flake spent a week on a remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (Photo Credit: Rep. Jeff Flake)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - This past summer, Rep. Jeff Flake went into the wild.

After two years of planning, the Arizona Republican spent a week on a remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, eating coconuts and fish he caught with a spear, purifying his own water, sleeping in a hammock on the beach, and writing daily in his journal.

He listed a number of reasons for going on this trip, calling them "more physical than spiritual." And while he didn't end up talking to a volleyball, like Tom Hanks did in "Cast Away," he did find some unlikely friends - a few hermit crabs.

"I picked up a hermit crab, and, spotting the sharpie, wrote the number '1' on the back of his shell, and put a circle around it. I repeated this act whenever I felt a bit lonely," Flake wrote. Later, he added, "I've labeled 102 at this point with a sharpie marker. I just saw number one again today. He's remains one of my favorites, as is number 12, long since forgiven for pinching my toe."

Filed under: Extra • Jeff Flake • Popular Posts
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Doug, New Jersey

    This is no adventure, he should try surviving in our most liberal areas like Chicago, Detroit, or Newark.

    October 13, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    How baout all the republicans take a hiatus and don't return to congress.

    October 13, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter

    Are you sure he wasn't really in Argentina with his soulmate? Have a nice day!

    October 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Sheryl

    Who cares!!! Does he have a Heathcare plan???

    October 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Can we have Pelosi join him? Permanently?

    October 13, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Glen Beck is Rush Limbaugh's Evil Spawn

    So what?

    October 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Certainly lives up to his name, as do other republicans.

    Flake – says it all.

    October 13, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Leslie, KS

    This is an adorable story. Thank you CNN. I wish the Congressman had had a cameraman, but that would have defeated the purpose.

    October 13, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Regarding Liz Cheney

    We get it; she loves her father, just as Julie Nixon loved hers. But that does not give Liz the right to spread lies about President Obama. The vicious attacks on him are uncalled for, and quite frankly she looks like a spoiled brat. Liz's father was an animal and the first VP who sanctioned torture. He will go down in history as a war criminal in my mind, so all this talk of country and pride, and widows going to accept the Nobel Peace Prize is stupid. If she really cared about widows and soldiers, she wouldn't lie about her father's criminal war record, which was abominable to the military.

    Go away Liz; your foul mouth won't work. Crawl back under a rock with your father.

    October 13, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. AZ Jake

    This really exonerates Flake completely. We in Arizona have always thought that he was just a crabby obstructionist.

    His constituency of 102 crabs is surely his most loyal supporters.

    Defeat Flake for a more moderate Senator!

    October 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Bob Dog

    After a week, this guy was not only chock full of coconut, he was full of himself. Ouch, what an ego.

    October 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Reformed Republican

    Besides being a right wing bible thumpin' closet neocon evangelical who wants to stop health care reform, now you know why we here in AZ really think he is a "Flake"....

    October 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Flake" is right. Crikey. It's just a week dude...if you can't be alone for a week without ending up "lonely" and writing on hermit crabs, there's something wrong with you.

    October 13, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    This is what we got with incumberents. Vote them out in 2010.

    October 13, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. quarterback

    There is a good reason for Flake to be named Flake.

    October 13, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Phat Elvis


    Honestly CNN, is this all there is worth reporting today?

    October 13, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. yuri

    As long as he is not caught in an extra-marital enterprise, we guess it will be an exhilarating experience.

    October 13, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. wait a minute

    That's what Mark Sanford should have done.

    October 13, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. DJ

    Maybe he did some soul-searching to figure out what the Republicans can do besides just saying no?

    October 13, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. John

    How can you tell if it’s an American who spent a week on your uninhabited island? Look at the hermit crabs.

    October 13, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Richp

    Now some poor tourist is going to be scratching his or her head wondering how the numbers got on the hermit crabs..... :-))))

    October 13, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Tim from Tampa

    Living up to his name........

    October 13, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    Well, at least he has a good last name when it comes to Republican Congressmen.

    October 13, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Crazy Harry

    Did he come back? I hope not.

    October 13, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Farrell in Houston

    I thought Flake had already completed his mission which is required by the LDS.

    October 13, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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