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John Wells went into the desert of Southwest Texas as an experiment, an experiment in living by facing challenges that most of us never consider, like how much water you get from a rainstorm or whether wind or solar is a better option. He bought 40 acres a stone’s throw from the Mexican border seven years ago for about $8,000, then added another 20 for $5,000 not long after that. Soon he erected his first structure, a house that cost $1,600, under the banner Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory.

Treehugger called him a modern-day Thoreau. The New York Times raved. But the best way to get to know John and his off-the-grid and on-your-own living is to visit the man himself. He writes every day, right here: thefieldlab.blogspot.com.


Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.


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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.