We have been here in this mountain haven for 5 months now. Some days it seems like we have always been here and then some days like we just arrived. So much has happened since we arrived and I haven’t been very good at keeping up with this space. I am going to try and change this, starting now. I have big plans for this virtual space, I have so much to share.
So lets get caught up starting first with the yurt. Living in a yurt in the middle of winter definitely has its moments, both wonderful and a little less so. I never thought that I would be in a situation that I not only would be “taking care of business” in an outhouse in the middle of winter but tracking animals while doing so. Today I was on the lookout for lynx tracks; seems there is one in the area.
It can be chilly here, not Alberta cold by any means but it does dip down to -10C at times maybe a bit lower. We are living entirely off of wood heat for warmth from the wonderful wood stove in the yurt. Splitting and hauling wood into the yurt is a daily task, takes about an hour. We also are living off the grid which means we generate our own electricity via a solar panel that trickle charges a battery plus a small generator that powers two other batteries. Remembering to charge the batteries, knowing to plan ahead for electricity is crucial. We have ran out of both wood and electricity and its not comfortable when that happens, totally not comfortable. It made me remember those nights after crawling into my warm bed in the city and getting comfy only to realize I hadn’t turned the furnace down and had to crawl out of bed to do so and how I thought that was a drag. How much different is my life is now.
We live without internet and out of cellphone range. This has been a transition for all of us. We plan our internet usage now. I actually make lists of who I need to email, what research I need to do. I used to spend so much time just surfing away, quite mindlessly really, now its a destination event. Its interesting how much time freed up for life to occur when the internet is not under your finger tips. I have felt out of touch at times. Exploring that feeling, I realized I was going through a media detox, a much needed one. Even watching the weather reports has become increasingly useless. If its gonna snow, it does, then we deal with it. Living where there are no cellphones is simply awesome! No one is texting while talking with you or walking down the street with a phone attached to their head. People look at you and smile and say hi. People just drop by if they are in the area and want to see you. Its a social and old school kind of feeling and I just dig it.
Speaking of snow, it really really snows here. Massive big buckets of snow and the locals say that its not a big snow year! I really love our plough guy. It snows, he shows and ploughs away the snow so we can drive out. Voila the road is cleared. That is unless our lovely plough guy is away for the weekend, on the weekend that 20 cm dumps in about 5 minutes. All weekend long I wondered where the plough guy was! Sure, we could and did walk were we needed to go and stayed pretty close to home. But I have to say when I heard the distant hum of his machine on Monday morning I felt a pretty big sense of relief.
Road conditions here are tough, its a valley full of micro climates. As you drive along it could be clear, then gets foggy, then rains while its foggy, then you hit snow. It hovers around freezing most days, so its unclear most of the time if the roads will be icy or not. And icy! When its icy, its icy! A couple of weeks ago a wind blew in for a few hours and by the time it had died down any road that had any amount of snow on it (meaning all the roads but the highway itself) was a skating rink. I arrived home, in the black darkness, to find that it took me 7, thats seven, tries to get up our road to the Yurt. Humbled. This journey provides a daily lesson of humble pie, one I am devouring and so very grateful for.
Well, thats the yurt update for today. There is so much more to update regarding how we are living, but that gives you a little glimpse into our day to day life. One that is so full, so rewarding and so very incredibly amazing.