So one of the biggest changes about our move to Alaska is the living situation. Yes, the cabin is small, but the biggest hurdle is that the cabin is dry. This doesn’t mean we can’t drink vino! It means there is no running water in the house. Yup. No shower, no flushing toilet. There is an outhouse outside (not quite sure how we’ll work that in the winters). And we have to shower at the gym or the laundry mat. To get water, we have to fill up 5 gallon jugs at a water filling station.
So why a dry cabin, you ask? There are a few reasons. In Fairbanks, living this way is fairly common. It’s apparently not possible to have below-ground plumbing because of the year-round permafrost. It’s not possible to drill wells because there is a lot of naturally occurring arsenic in the bedrock. So keeping plumbing insulated and trucking in water is an expensive ordeal. Because so many people do live in a dry home, there is a good infrastructure in the city to support it, including water fueling stations.
As for our own personal reasons for choosing a dry cabin? It’s cheap! It’s about half the price of a one bedroom apartment for close to the same space. It’s in the woods, which we have been missing. And it’s an adventure. If we are going to do this, why not go all the way?
For those of you who are skeptical that it’s even possible to live this way, here is a great video by Robert Prince on living in a dry cabin in Fairbanks. His cabin is a one story, two bedroom home, where ours is a two story, one bedroom building. He describes difficulty heating his bedrooms, which worries me. But Lee ensures me that the heat will rise into our bedroom. Let’s hope!
Enjoy the video! It’s really fun.