Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Camping in a Yurt

Life seems to be back under control. But knowing how tricksy ol' Murphy can be I'm going to tiptoe lightly around that subject. I've spent the morning getting caught up on the last little jobs to get the house shipshape - laundry continues as we speak, I screwed the shelves back onto the wall behind the basement door - I had to remove them so the workers could haul out the old hot water tank and bring in the shiny new super-quiet very efficient new one. I did my first grocery shop of 2012, but more about that tomorrow as I evaluate my first No/Low Spend week of January. 

Now, on to more interesting topics; you've heard more than enough about The Flood. Let's talk about camping in a yurt!! OMG we had every kind of weather imaginable! The first day it was +7c(45F) and poured down rain on the drive to the Pinery. For the rest of the day it was a bit misty and we were fine wearing our rain jackets & jeans. The second day it was -2c(28F)and we had flurries of snow pellets attack us off and on all day plus very strong winds. The third day it went down to -18c(-4F) with  more snow AND some sunshine. We brought winter coats, winter pants to wear over our regular pants, heavy boots, gloves, hats and scarves so we were fine no matter what Mother Nature threw at us (but man, she musta been pissed off at somebody!)

Also, our first night there the hydro went out....for four hours! We were lucky that a camper that was leaving gave us a large bag of wood so once Michael got the fire going - no mean feat with wet kindling and heavy winds but he persevered (what a man!) - we were able to stay fairly toasty by the fire. With no heat due to the power failure it was much colder in the yurt! By about 10pm the hydro came back on, the yurt warmed up and we called it a night!

On the second day we bought TWO bags of wood...just in case! Snow pellets aside it was a glorious day. We had a long hike which ended up on the shores of Lake Huron facing winds so strong it was a challenge remaining upright. The wind was howling, the waves were HUGE - it was an awe inspiring experience. In the evening we had a campfire for several hours and toasted in the New Year with a bottle of bubbly and made plans to come back next year! 

The third day we hiked again and met up with a family who were patiently holding out their hands filled with birdseed trying to get the chickadees to land & eat. Both Michael and I joined in with great success. Although -18c we kept warm and braved the beach once again. This time however, the frigid temperatures had worked their special magic and everything - logs, driftwood, long grasses - was encased in ice! 

Here are a few pictures from Day One of our Yurt adventure:
Stopped at a lookout point along the way - as you can see the river has overflowed its banks from all of the rain.

Men like Michael (sensitive, sweet, thoughtful, loving, in touch with his feelings:) really are a rare breed!

There - you can see a couple of yurts through the trees - no snow at all at this point. Just rain.

Each yurt is equipped with a gas BBQ. We used it to heat up our mulled wine and to cook our sausages the 2nd night. 

We also had a picnic table (wet!) and firepit...also wet!

Here, let me show you around inside the yurt:  there are two sets of bunkbeds, singles on top and double on the bottom. Add to that a table and several plastic deck chairs plus one wall-mounted electric heater. The peak of the yurt is open to the elements with just a raised cover over the opening to keep out some of the rain, snow pellets and snow.
It was actually quite magical to live so close to the elements: the wind and waves created a constant roar and it was funny to see the snow pellets drifting down from the hole in the peak of the yurt!
We had to bring our own food, drinks, dishes, pots, towels and sleeping bags. I made a huge crockpot full of chili which we kept on low, brought muesli breakfast pitas, homemade scones with raisins and chocolate chips (YUM) because as you know you have to EAT MORE when you're winter camping to help keep you WARM! 

There's our free bag of wood:) And our outdoor cooler! Anything we needed to keep chilled we just left outside our door which, by the way, had about a half-inch gap around three sides - no need to worry about a lack of fresh air!!

The food, beverage, flashlight, music and everything else centre!

I have no recall of what I was pointing at but at this point we were collecting kindling to make our first fire.

Michael and the kindling box - at this point he's still smiling because he doesn't yet know how hard it's going to be to get that first fire going!

Working away at getting the fire going with a mug of mulled wine at the ready. Did you know that glossy magazine pages don't burn very well?

SUCCESS!! Thank goodness as it became our only source of heat for many hours.

I'm having a great time!! At this point I didn't know I'd be huddled by the fire for hours to come due to an electrical outage...and the mulled wine really helps to lift one's spirits!  Note my new Blundstone Boots in a colour called "Crazy Horse Brown" - a Christmas present from Michael!

He was a little worried I was going to melt the rubber on the bottom of my new boots, but I DIDN'T, OK??

Note to self - next year remember to bring a corkscrew!
I want you to look beyond my silliness to the couple in the background...see the woman in the blue coat and the man in the red hat and green coat?
They provided us with some unwanted X-rated entertainment during the electrical outage. I'll leave the details to your ever fertile imaginations.
I yelled at them but that only seemed to spur them on...stupid people.
Here I am inside the yurt in our cozy little bed looking for images and words for my 2012 vision board - that pink fuzzy PJ top is the warmest thing I've ever worn...ever!

Opening the yurt door on Day Two - it SNOWED!!!
About 1/2 an inch, but it SNOWED!!!
Stay tuned, more to come...


Sharon said...

Love hearing your yurt story, but I must confess it's not something I'll ever be doing. I've become quite the hotel *snob* ever since my husband took me to the Fairmont in San Francisco!

You are a real trooper! ;)!

~Carla~ said...

I stand by my original comment, you guys are crazy. :P ;) lol! Seriously though, love all the pics!! Lookis like you had so much fun!!

Johanna said...

Love it. I think it's awesome and am going to have to look into it for Dave and I.
Can't wait for more pictures.

Suzy said...

aww sounds like FUN!

Lisa said...

Camping in a yurt sounds like a hoot! I love the pictures and the narration of the pictures!

Anonymous said...

OMG you two are crazy! LOL.
Like Sharon I like hotels and comfort......there's a reason I want to move to Portugal: warmth (and no snow!!!!)

But it looks like you both had fun :):)

jpkittie said...

HOW FUN!!!! What an amazing adventure!!! (and I don't think you guys are crazy like Sharon & Carla! hehe) I think it looks awesome!!! I just love the time when I can be 'unplugged' and with the people I love!!!

The Witch said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time and you have certainly made some of these situations truly funny. The weather you guys experienced really was all over the board, but now you know you can also stay warm when it drops down to -18.
It was really interesting to see how these yurts where going to look compared to other pictures I have seem of them.
I'm so glad you and Michael had a great time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jane Looks like you two had a blast!!!! What an awesome way to spend New Year's Eve. What' a vision board? An inquiring mind wants to know......
Wishing you all the best in 2012 and I will drop by with a veggie and meat box this summers. Sending you a big Island hug.
Take care Kendra

Marguerite said...

That looks like some pretty high level camping, Jody would love that. (I like tents and he prefers RVs, this would be a great compromise). Fantastic way to bring in the new year.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Well, Merry XXX-mas to you guys! ;) Sounds like a lot of fun and definitely not something everyone would do. Would love to see a photo of your vision board if you care to share...

Jane said...

@ Sharon - I love a good hotel too but am open to all experiences - I'm always up for an adventure and this definitely fit the bill! We'll do it again next year for sure!

@Carla - I admit to a wee bit of craziness lol - but it was a blast!

@Johanna - I know you and Dave would absolutely LOVE it! Check out We're definitely doing it again next year! Hugs!

@Susanna - oh it was SOOOO much fun!

@Lisa - thanks, more pictures will be coming of Day 2 & 3

@Laura - but you DO have a sense of adventure:) I TRY to enjoy all kinds of weather, emphasis on TRY!

@jpkittie - being unplugged was great - we couldn't even get a cell phone signal - really helped us connect with each other.

@The Witch - yes the weather changed by 25 degrees from the first day to the third - CRAZY! We adapted really well, I thought!

@Kendra - yes I will explain more about vision boards in a future post and show pictures too; thanks for the Island hug - we are really missing HOME but the time is flying by! Hugs!

@Marguerite - no yurts on PEI I don't think, but I know there is on Cape Breton; perhaps Michael and I will have one on our property someday - we've been talking about it!

@NLA - thanks!and yes I will be sharing my vision board soon:)

Anonymous said...

Oh Jane, what a trip; you two are so adventurous! I tell you, if I'd gone there and seen the space around the door and the hole in the roof, I'd have turned tail and gone home! BRR!
But so worth it. Your pics speak a thousand words, and then some!