A man chisels out a massive boulder to construct a 5,700-square-foot desert cave home. It is beautiful.
What would you believe if someone said they lived in a cave?
The “caveman” from Geico may come to mind, but, believe it or not, there are modern “cavemen.”
Grant Johnson is included.
Grant is someone who actually lives in a cave, but he is not stuck in the past.
He is demonstrating to the world that living in a cave can be an awesome experience for those who are willing to exist outside of the norm.
In actuality, his off-grid desert home is over 5,000 square feet of incredibly impressive craftsmanship, complete with a music studio and contemporary furnishings.
It began in his twenties.
In his twenties, Johnson moved to Utah and purchased a large parcel of land.
The area would eventually become a national monument, but his parcel is an inholding, which allows him to develop it privately and as he sees fit.
He devised a system to bring running water and electricity to the massive cave home he spent 20 years constructing, which is off-grid.
It has all the modern conveniences, and you can even rent a private room within the compound through Airbnb.
One renter exclaimed,“There is nowhere on Earth quite like the Boulder house. It is one of the wonders of the modern world – a fully functional, modernized house carved into a giant Boulder. The drove across the stream to get to it was harmless, but thrilling. The horses and cows surrounding the place were charming, and the views in every direction magnificent. Don’t miss your chance to stay here!”
Johnson moved to Moab for school at age 17. He enjoyed hiking and worked in the town’s mines while pursuing his education.
But it didn’t take him long to appreciate the nature-to-city lifestyle.
“I got involved in stabilizing Indian ruins, and I got more and more into the wilderness. And then I didn’t see any news. Didn’t read anything. I completely got away from it,” he explained to Tiny House Giant Journey.
He chose to live off the grid and found a spot in the canyons to irrigate and cultivate his own food.
The result was his expansive cave dwelling, which he could not have imagined decades ago.
He began with explosives.
He needed dynamite to make this happen, as he lacked the necessary equipment.
Initially, he questioned his ability to assemble the necessary materials and make the space inhabitable. Despite this, he went for it.
However, the procedure was not a quick one.
“I started blasting in 95, blasted a little tunnel here first. From the first blast I was committed, and then it was like eight winters probably of blasting.”
After he finished blasting, the property remained largely undeveloped for several years while he decided what to do with it (and pull together the funds).
“I didn’t know what I wanted. You know, how I wanted to finish it.”
He introduced the light.
Johnson was able to create windows with an epic view by blasting holes for windows, reinforcing them with steel, and then installing glass.
Obviously, if one is to live truly off the grid, electricity, food, and water are significant factors, but Johnson figured out a way to make it work in the desert.
He planted saplings.
“I planted the orchard right away. And we had a water wheel, big 22 foot in diameter water wheel that ran the pump. We put in about 6,500 feet of pipeline from the pond that ran the water wheel because I always knew if we could afford to do it, we’d have gravity flow because we’re a mile below the pond… So I just plugged into it and put in a turbine.”
If you want both meat and vegetables in your diet, you must establish a mini-ecosystem as opposed to a simple garden.
Bringing the bacon home.
“The biggest crop is tomatoes and peppers and corn potatoes, lots of garlic, but then, you know, all sorts of little stuff, greens and carrots and beets. I love bacon, sausage, and that pork. So to raise pigs, we have to have a cow that’s milking because the pigs eat the milk. Otherwise, it’s not worth it. You know, it costs so much to feed them. So we’d feed them milk. You know, you have to get the milk cow bread and then you have to milk it. And then you have to have a way to feed the milk cows. And so that’s what all these fields are for is feeding the animals, the horses, and the cows,” he explained.
After twenty years, the land is beautiful and sustainable, and Johnson enjoys his home and lifestyle.
He simply believes it is too large.
Therefore, he rents it to guests, which is a great way to meet new people.
“People get inspired by it. I didn’t expect that so much. And it really is the case.”
Undoubtedly, this cave stands out from the rest in the most favourable way.