This spring we decided that we wanted to have a place away from the city, for a new perspective. After a lot of research, we found a company called Clean Air Yurts, which is based in upstate New York. The founder is a carpenter (which is very obvious from the quality of work) who harvests his woods about fifty miles from his shop, where he mills and cures the wood. Another reason we decided on this design was because there is not much choice in the camping style yurt category, and no other that offers a PVC free fabric. Using low impact materials, and having a healthy space is important to us.
After months of anticipation, we have set up our new yurt in Kaleden, B.C. right between OK Falls and Penticton, on a journey to find our place in this world, living lightly in the Okanagan. We found this place because we approached a friend to see if they would host us on their land for the summer. Our motivation: we wanted to explore a different region, and have the opportunity to rely on our own resourcefulness. Their motivation: they are interested in learning some of the building skills that we have to offer.
We set up on a 38 degree day. Very hot. We are lucky to have the shade, and the fruit, of a cherry tree, at least in the morning. The yurt is designed with a panoramic window, with screens, that allows the breeze to flow freely, as well as giving us a view of the lake. We built a rope bed of found, weathered lumber so that we can sleep tight and rest well. Once we were set up, we were lying down trying out our new bed and looking up into the rafters. They create such satisfying circular pattern, leading towards the skylight where the sun streams in. From this position, the thought of craftsmanship came to mind. This yurt is handmade, and we could tell. On the wood, where the stain and saw marks meet, tells a story of the maker. Everything is a precise fit, that was crafted and custom built. It was so nice to be present to this feeling of care and it is certainly different than most of the built environment that we experience on a daily basis. This will be our remote office and temporary home for parts of the summer and into the autumn.
Next week, we are headed back out to the yurt, and this time we are taking with us our new energy system, a solar generator that we are building. We will update when this system is up and running.
In time, our yurt will be our pre pre house. By that we mean that as one strategy we are trying out to be mortgage free. We will live in the yurt when we build our temporary shelter. We will live in the temporary shelter as we build our house. The temporary shelter will serve as a small scale version of the house, you can think of it as more practice before committing to a full size project, and it will become a work space or guest house once the main house is complete. Now, we just need to find where to begin the building process.
Here’s to yurt living adventures. Stay tuned for updates!