Shiloh native Roland Welker, the winner of the History Channel’s 7th season of “Alone,” signed autographs, posed for pictures and met with the public at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield yesterday afternoon.
“I’m here in my hometown of Clearfield, which I dearly love,” Welker said to the crowd. “With all its hillbilly Yankee heritage.”
Welker won the show’s $1 million prize by beating out nine other competitors by living alone for 100 days in the Canadian Arctic.
Welker said when he was growing up in Shiloh he never imagined he would ever have a burger named after him at Denny’s.
“But I always knew I would be in for some outdoor adventures,” Welker said.
Welker was a premier Alaskan guide prior to becoming a contestant on “Alone.”
Welker said he spoke to some Boy Scouts recently and told them that no matter what it is, if you are passionate about something, you can achieve it.
“I just proved it,” Welker said.
Since winning on Alone, Welker said he’s been bombarded with requests from the media for interviews and he gets a lot of requests for autographs and photos.
“But I love it,” Welker said. “I’m a camera hog. It’s awesome.”
Welker said he’s happy to be back in the area. He said Clearfield County area and central Pennsylvania are underrated and hopes his newfound celebrity brings a new appreciation for this area and its people.
“People need to start understanding who we are and what we have done to develop this country,” Welker said. “And we are always going to be here.”
Welker said he doesn’t know how long he will be staying in the area or where exactly he will live.
“North America is my home. I’m up for anything,” Welker said. “But Shiloh Pennsylvania is home home. That’s where they are going to plant (bury) me.”
Welker said the hardest part of living in alone in the Canadian Arctic is not having any books to read. Welker said he is an avid reader — particularly books on American history.
For the event, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub debuted is new “Rock House” burger, named in honor of Welker. Welker built a rock shelter to live in on the show “Alone.”
Denny Leigey, the owner of Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub said the restaurant is also selling Rock House T-Shirts and the restaurant’s portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Clearfield Food Pantry.