BY: JESSICA BEUKER
Far off the main road, out in the sticks of Eastern Oregon, and down a forested trail lays a quiet meadow. The 200-acre space is a vast area of lush greenery, boasting streams and ponds, and a tiny pebbled beach. It is within this nature hideaway that Dan Price has made his home.
A small mound of thick intertwined branches, like a bird’s nest, form the only part of his home that is visible to surface dwellers. But in the side of a grassy embankment, a tiny arch is just big enough to crawl into on your stomach, leading you into Price’s underground hobbit hole.
Once inside, the space is eight feet around and lined with pine slats.
It is a small space but Price utilizes all of it – around the room he has a stove, skillet, pantry, pictures, little book case, CD player, phone and a clothes hanger, with hanging clothes, fashioned out of a branch.
Price didn’t always intend to live this way. In 1990, he began renting the 200-acre space for $100/year and in exchange for cleaning fallen trees and repairing broken fences. According to Good Magazine, he lived in a tipi at the time, which he had built himself; however he felt it was too big. Price downsized to a nine by 12 foot dome hut, unfortunately he was robbed through his skylight. So he tore the hut down, keeping only the underground portion.
His underground home includes a composting toilet, a propane-powered shower that uses river water, and a hand built, wood pine propane sauna.
Price considers himself a “hobo artist,” and loves living the hobbit lifestyle. During the winter months he leaves his home and takes off surfing.
Price pays whatever small bills he has, primarily by illustrating a series of pocket journals called The Moonlight Chronicles.
He draws the world, while he wanders slowly and patiently through life.
“When you structure your life by putting you first, you have time to do things, like read books,” he told Lynette Chiang, author of Gal From Down Under. “I used to work as a photojournalist with regular crazy hours. The problem is, people have their lives organized so they are the slaves. Basically, the average person spends a ton of their time working for very little money, just to survive. I spend a very little of my time working for enough money to not just survive, but do what I love – draw and travel.”
Image sources: imgur.com