I am stoked to be featured on a weekly podcast called “Outside By Design”! Montana design firm Wheelie Creative is a rad company — and we work with them on projects for our new biz Yoga Hive Montana, for our nonprofit Riding On Insulin and hopefully someday for Two Sticks and a Board! Lisa (owner) and Dan (operations manager) interviewed me over a brew about life in Montana, about Sean and I becoming owners of a new yoga business, and where our yurt/expedition/life inspiration comes from. Give it a listen on your next run/bike/commute to work. Lots of laughter and nuggets of advice! Nugget…
Sean and my schedules can be heavy with travel at times, and March-May were no exception. Being physically out of town when our hearts were back in Montana’s Flathead Valley made for a hard few months, but rewarding all the same — experiencing a wedding in a foreign country, spreading the stoke of skiing/snowboarding to more kids, and visiting one of our most favorite places on earth (Norway). But then we come back, and ground ourselves back down here at home, and once again the world seems to slow, ever-so-slightly… bringing everything back into focus. Last week, Sean shook me awake…
For Sean, it’s not always about the photo captured, but the process of taking the time to capture it.
Sunrise over Glacier National Park—bringing the first rays of light to NW Montana’s Flathead Valley and our yurt’s Goal Zero solar panels.
An amazing sunset capturing Glacier National Park’s Mount Jackson from the living room of our yurt. Jackson Glacier is the 7th largest glacier in the park of the remaining 25 glaciers (150 glaciers were estimated in 1850) and is located on the north side of the peak. In 1850, the glacier covered 1,875 acres (including the now separate Blackfoot Glacier). In 2005, it was measured at 250 acres. Harrison Glacier is situated on the southern flanks of Mount Jackson and is the largest glacier in the park. In 2005 it was estimated to have an area of 466 acres remaining….
Another warm and sunny day in “Suntana.” We are now left with this white strip of snow and ice down our mountainside as we try to maintain the little amount that is left. This small amount of snow is crucial to still allowing us to easily transport food, water, and supplies by a pulk sled rather then multiple trips with backpacks. Any sort of heavy vehicle at this point on our summer access 4×4 road will cause damage due to how moist the land is. We are hoping that winter will return soon to NW Montana!
Star trails circling over our yurt. Clear nights make for spectacular nighttime views in Big Sky Country.
The hike home last night up to our yurt was beautiful. An owl hooting for its mate and the moon rising through the clouds. Mollie and I sat out front of our yurt reflecting and feeling thankful while looking toward the shadowed outlines of Glacier National Park under the glow of our oil lantern.
The most reliable form of transportation has been our own two feet when it comes to accessing our yurt. Many miles have been logged this winter with my splitboard and Mollie’s AT setup—putting new meaning on having a “ski in, ski out” home.
Excited to put up a new mailbox soon in this tiny/remote and completely off the grid community up the North Fork of the Flathead River—Polebridge, Montana. A place where grizzlies roam your yard and your mail is delivered only twice a week by a local resident and her domesticated wolf. A land behind the times…or are they onto something we don’t know? My heart tells me the latter. Distant – up a long dirt road near a now closed down US/Canada boarder crossing. Where you can escape and truly disconnect from the modern world – with no cell phone reception,…
The last week has been one adventure after another in Busby YurtLife. An epic powder day led to a handful of snowmobile issues (Read: our primary access to the yurt digging itself into our road’s new massive snowbanks). I resorted to one mode of transport up that never breaks down. Meanwhile, Sean was busy cleaning out our chimney after the swinging temps blocked it entirely! He writes, “Yurt life = DIY. Maintenance on our chimney cap after record breaking snow and a freezing rain event. Over the past two days we have noticed our highly efficient stove was acting…
Yurtlife just reached a new level. I (Mollie) completed my American Institute for AIARE Level 1 course this weekend, based out of the Great Northern Powder Guides local backcountry yurt! There’s nothing quite like classroom in the AM, field observations and a ski tour to follow, and good times with new friends in a yurt to cap off the evening. Bonus points to Mother Nature for keeping us safe but allowing us to see snow instabilities firsthand. Remote triggered D1 storm slab avalanche near Stryker MT. Glad to be traveling with smart folks, and grateful to learn from a safe distance.
A little morning light shining over our yurt to start off the first day of 2015 in beautiful NW Montana. Looking forward to the coming year in our circular homestead and creating special memories with our little family and wonderful friends.
Our evening light at the yurt can be spectacular. I love how the alpenglow lasts longer and longer each day as we move closer to winter. This shot was taken from inside the living room of our yurt looking directly at Glacier National Park’s Mount Stimson – the second highest peak and one of the most remote and isolated peaks in the park. Termed one of the hardest major summits in the continental United States to climb from a standpoint of remoteness, effort, and non-technical challenge, it is a true monster that towers over this part of NW Montana. Hard…
This has been my latest northern lights viewing setup on the south end of our yurt looking up to the northern sky. It is one of many locations to catch a good solar storm on the property. Though the northern lights in Montana can be frequent for this area, clear night skies can be few and far between through the dark winter nights.
From a few weeks ago…Staying up past 2 am for a strong solar storm because it was highly likely of viewing northern lights over our yurt. Instead, a layer of high clouds rolled in on a forecasted clear night, snuffing out any showing of the lights. Nonetheless, our dog Glacier and I enjoyed each other’s company in the cold Montana night listening to one of our local resident owls hoot in a tree surrounding our little round home.
A snowmobile drive home the other morning to this beautiful sight – our Montana backcountry yurt. Such peace between storms as a refreshing coat of white begins to blanket our little round homestead.
You may be noticing something a little bit different in our yurt. For those that don’t — we replaced our Rocket Mass Heater with an extremely efficient wood stove by Blaze King. Our new stove also has a 30 hour burn time which is huge for yurt living! We switched stoves as we found that we needed a much larger mass for our Rocket Mass Heater and that it was not ideal for our current yurt setup. It would be great in another setting such as a greenhouse, shop, or a place that can provide a much larger mass (thus…
With each trip home, we will fill our utility sled behind the snowmobile with our remaining firewood and transport it to our wood shed, allowing the wood to season for quality spring burning. We now have full winter conditions up at our yurt and can only access our round home with skis/splitboard or snowmobile until late spring. This now marks a new point to our life off the grid adventure as we learn to transition with the seasons.
With sub zero temps night time temps and bitterly cold wind chills, there has been no easy transition into winter this year. Icicles now hang around our yurt forming the first set of “yurtcicles” for the season.