GroovyYurts - Authentic Mongolian yurts
Jan 152008

My Yurt

Winter Yurt Musing...

Snow is falling, and falling… and falling… here in the mountains of north Idaho. It’s a great time to think, to write, to reflect on what has transpired this past year.

It’s been over a year since my first blog entry.  A year of traveling the country and sharing my slideshow, “YURTS: Big Life, small footprint,” with readers, builders and yurt enthusiasts from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine.

In these next blogs I’ll look back at some of the questions you asked me while I was out on the road, and some that have come through on my yurt website and forum.

I’d also like to share some of the new yurt resources I’ve found while updating the website. Like, for example, this YouTube yurt video of a multiplex yurt in the UK all decked out Krygyz-style for a party! And these fun scenes from Simply Yurts, an event rental company in Devon, UK.

Thank you for joining me on my yurt blog, and please do continue to leave your comments and questions. I’ll do my best to answer what I can and find other experts to contribute as well…

Aug 052007

Just arrived back from my East Coast tour, and what a great tour it was!  I love meeting yurt people and hearing their dreams and their stories. Here are some highlights from the tour…

My first stop was Northshire Books in Manchester Center, Vermont, voted 2006 best independent bookstore by Publisher’s Weekly. They deserve the title! An old Victorian house full of books and meeting spaces with an adjoining café, it’s at the heart of the cultural life in this southwestern Vermont town.

Stanley's yurts

Stanley's Tapered-Wall Yurts

Stanley McGaughey was at my Northshire talk. He’s still finishing up the final details on an amazing set of tapered wall yurts. Look for his story in our upcoming “Yurtspeak” newsletter!

Dec 142006

    Todd and Monica have a 30′ fabric yurt, but unfortunately they purchased it a couple of years ago from a company that advertises cheap yurts. There were so many problems with their yurt when it arrived (six months late) that it took them an additional six months to put it up. The good side, they said, is that they now know enough about yurts to build their own.

Felted wool insulation

        The most amazing thing about Todd and Monica’s yurt is the insulation. In addition to a layer of the usual Reflectix bubble wrap/foil insulation, Monica added a complete inside layer of real felt. The felt, imported from India, came in 7′ rolls. Monica hand stitched the wall sections, with cutouts for the windows, and had a friend machine-stitch 6 large pie-shaped wedges to go on top of the rafters.

    The Reflectix layer, which is sandwiched between the felt and the outer covering of the yurt, functions as a
vapor barrier as well as providing additional insulation (and reflecting out the sun’s heat in the summer). Monica pointed out the importance of keeping the felt dry, as it can easily mold or rot if it gets wet.

Dec 012006

I had the loveliest dinner last night. A true “Yurt Dinner”, there were three couples who live in yurts, one couple that has spent the last 7 years building a hexagonal, yurt-like strawbale home, and two couples seriously considering yurt living.

Valley view

Kim and Russell, our hosts, recently purchased a magnificent yurt  from a couple in their 70’s (heading south to escape north Idaho’s cold, grey winters). The yurt sits on a bluff with a view of valley and mountains for miles around.