Category Archive for "Adventure"

Daily Journal: Alpenglow in Glacier National Park

December 19, 2014
Sean

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…

Daily Journal: Northern Lights in Montana

December 17, 2014
Sean

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.   

Thanksgiving Carving and the Smell of Home

December 15, 2014

As odd as this sounds, I can vividly remember the neck warmer I used to wear skiing in Wisconsin as a kid. The thick, black fleece would be damp with condensation, but somehow it would shield my rosy cheeks from the wind. With every inhale, I remember the scent of deep fried cheese curds and hot chocolate.    To a non-Wisconsinite, I can see how that may sound questionable.    But to anyone who knows Wisconsin, that smell is home. After a long day of plowing down stiff (likely icy) groomers with Biting Wind and Bone-Chilling Humidity along for the…

Daily Journal: Yurt Living at its Best

December 15, 2014
Sean

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.

Daily Journal: Montana Backcountry Yurt – Winter is here!

December 10, 2014
Sean

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.

Daily Journal: Our Blaze King Off the Grid Yurt Wood Stove

December 8, 2014
Sean

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…

Daily Journal: Prepping Yurt Life for Winter

December 5, 2014
Sean

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.

Daily Journal: Quick Transition to Winter in a Yurt

December 3, 2014
Sean

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.  

Daily Journal: Seeking out the Snow

November 24, 2014
Sean

The temperatures have been telling us that winter is surely here in NW Montana. However, for some of winter’s prime activities – you still have to actively seek it and really earn your turns. It was a great day of finding winter in the backyard and being able to see our yurt across the lake in the distance.

Daily Journal: Winter a Yurt – bring it on!

November 21, 2014
Sean

Winter has arrived to NW Montana and temperatures last week were plummeting by the minute! Forecast called for wind chills to exceed 20 to 35 degrees below zero up at our yurt throughout the week. Winter in a yurt? Bring it on!

Daily Journal: Share the Sun

November 20, 2014
Sean

Another fine ending to a day here in NW Montana with another beautiful crystal clear big sky which brought plenty of solar power to our Goal Zero solar panels and Yeti 1250 generators and batteries. We will now have enough power in our yurt for nearly two weeks as long as we remain conservative. Feeling refreshed – WooHoo!  

Daily Journal: Montana Larch Trees

November 19, 2014
Sean

This photo is shown looking up to our yurt through the golden needles of our Larch trees (also known as Tamaracks). Last Sunday, we were completely fogged in as frigid arctic temperatures and heavy snow approached. That Sunday—November 9th—marked the last of our beautiful fall-colored Montana Larch trees until next year as our temperatures dipped into the teens and negatives. Winter has arrived in NW Montana. I used to call the Aspen my favorite type of tree because of the brilliant colors their leaves produce in the fall – but not anymore. My new favorite tree is the Larch which…

Blades of Glory, Yurt Style

November 17, 2014

One by one, the blades of our heat-powered fan atop the rocket mass heater begin to turn. Once around, twice around, four times, eight times. Soon, it’s turning too many times to count, humming as it pushes heat from the stove into the room. This simple action is how we know the stove is warming up. The turning blades are how we know the heat has penetrated the system, and most importantly: We know it won’t be long before warmth is circulated throughout our yurt.     I think a lot of people have had us in their thoughts the…

Daily Journal: The Middle Fork Montana

November 17, 2014
Sean

Beautiful fall light moves across Cascadilla Creek as we hike back towards the Middle Fork of the Flathead River here at home in Northwest Montana.  

Daily Journal: Montana morning light

With temps dipping into the 20s at night and highs only in the 40s, we are becoming more engaged with our wood stove. One special perk is you get to see some really amazing sunrises and Montana morning light when restocking the wood stove for breakfast. This sunrise was captured from our yurt looking into Glacier National Park as another storm front moves in bringing more rain and snow to NW Montana.

Daily Journal: Deep sleep and yurt dreams

November 13, 2014
Sean

I can’t get over how deep of a sleep Mollie and I have staying in a yurt. It’s absolutely incredible. There is something about a circular space and the energy and love that flows within. A while back, we picked up this dream catcher from our local Native American reservation to filter the bad from the good and keep the inspiration and stoke flowing.

Daily Journal: Montana Sunrise

The Montana sunrise peeks over the Bob Marshall Wilderness each morning, lighting up the east-facing side of the yurt, illuminating the yellow larches, and warming the earth for a new day. Finding beauty in our surroundings grounds us daily into this new life.

Yukon Territory – Revisisted

The only audible sound was the swoosh of my skis on the powdery snow underfoot, and the occasional crow flying overhead. Sean and Alex, our expedition teammate, had ascended ahead of me on their splitboards, but I didn’t mind. Alone in the wilderness, off-the-grid in the Yukon Territory, my body felt strong, propelling me onward and upward. My breathing was rhythmic, coming out in hot puffs that commingled with the freezing Canadian air. Surrounded by a dense pine forest, the occasional evergreen had branches draped with a black, stringy moss. A majestic view of the lake was at my back,…

Daily Journal: Montana Fly Fishing in October

November 10, 2014
Sean

A late afternoon of casting flies and catching cutthroat (& releasing) with friends — there’s nothing quite like Montana fly fishing in October.  

Travel Tips — Ten (Slightly Sarcastic) Steps to Pack Like a Mountain Man

November 6, 2014
Sean

Those friends who are close to Sean and I — and especially those who have been on expeditions with us — know how ridiculous our pre-expedition preparation is. Namely, packing. I (who have improved my packing habits GREATLY over the last four years) am typically nagged for weeks leading up to our departure by Sean about the importance of packing light.  Last year, about this time, we were beginning to actualize our expeditions for the season. Post-Christmas holiday, we would board a plane for China and then Japan and needed to pack efficiently. I found this post Sean saved around…