Zach Klein was looking for his happy place.
An internet entrepreneur, Klein says it was around 2007 when he started yearning for a home away from home. A quiet place somewhere in upstate New York. A small plot of land where he could build a quaint cabin and just ... escape.
This was pre-Pinterest, and Tumblr was the newest, hottest thing around, so Klein started a simple blog where he kept photos and stories of some of the most incredible remote cabins around. They were his inspiration.
Thinking no one was ever going to see it, he gave his blog what he admits is a "silly name." He called it Cabin Porn.
Pretty soon, though, Klein decided to share Cabin Porn with the world, and before he knew it, its popularity exploded.
All photos via Cabin Porn, used with permission.
In the beginning, Klein was finding all of the cabins he shared himself.
Soon, the project was so popular that fans were sending in their own photos and stories.
"To date, we've published 1,600 cabins," Klein says. "There are another 16 or 17,000 submitted that we haven't processed yet."
The ultimate measure of the site's popularity: Comedian/lumberjack Nick Offerman has said Cabin Porn is one of his favorite sites on the internet.
There's no doubt the photos are beautiful and the landscapes serene, but Klein says the fascination with Cabin Porn (also now on Instagram) goes much deeper.
First, "I think it glamorizes a life that's simple and small and effective," he says. "I'm surprised how often the remoteness of the cabin is the object of people's affection."
Second, Klein references the basic pleasures most of us recognize from vacations that take us far away from the beaten path.
"It's about being outside, being with friends, being cozy, playing games, reading books, cooking, hiking," he says. "All the simple things we all want but don't get enough of."
Klein adds that our full, busy lives, jam-packed with computer screens and unlimited connection are like "eating bowl after bowl of sugary cereal." Cabin life? It's just the opposite.
Some readers take the fantasy seriously, working to one day build their own remote hideaway.
But for others, just looking at Cabin Porn, and dreaming, is enough of an escape.
As for Klein, he did eventually get his own cabin.
But whether or not you can afford to build a million-dollar masterpiece is beside the point.
Because there's a ton of bad news we can't seem to shake right now. However you choose to escape, just know that everyone deserves a little bit of serenity.