Photos: Living the dream in Fairbanks dry cabins

Northern Lights dance above a dry cabin in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Courtesy Trista Crass
Leighton Nunez's cabin in Ester, Alaska.
Courtesy Leighton Nunez
Hauling water at -40 degrees, at the Fox Spring, north of Fairbanks.
Laurel Andrews photo
Hauling water at -40 degrees, at the Fox Spring north of Fairbanks.
Laurel Andrews photo
An outhouse walkway, illuminated by Christmas lights.
Courtesy Hannah Hill
A typical kitchen setup for dry cabin living.
Courtesy Leah Hill
A dry cabin kitchen, complete with blue water jug.
Courtesy Hannah Hill
It's a quick walk to this outhouse, in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Courtesy Leah Hill
Dry cabin living means foregoing a bathroom for an outhouse.
Courtesy Leah Hill

Imagine you're sitting in a log cabin in the middle of Alaska. It's the middle of January, when temperatures can plummet to -40 degrees. It’s 5 p.m. and pitch black outside. You’re waiting for water to boil on your stove, so that you can wash last night’s dishes. You pour boiling water on the dishes, and rinse carefully with water from a five-gallon jug balancing on the sink lip.

The rinse water washes down six inches of pipe into a bucket beneath your sink. Dishes done, you carefully pick up the bucket-full of rancid waste water and inch outside, mindful not to slop any on the floor. You fling the water from your deck and it freezes instantly in the air.

You prepare to brave the cold for the bathroom, an outhouse a few feet from your doorway.

You're living the dry cabin lifestyle, just like several thousand others in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Full story: Cabin dreaming off the grid