Powder hound. Glacier’s favorite part about yurt life is the deep snow she gets to run and jump through while chasing us on either our snowboard, skis, or snowmobiles – dubbed the “Montana Dog Walk.”
Main heat source, gathering spot, spare cooking space, and tool for making extra water in the winter from melting snow. The stove is the heart of our yurt life. It burns 24 hours a day during the winter using dead trees from around the property while at he same time reducing fire danger, promoting a health forest, and increasing feeding areas for local wildlife.
For Sean, it’s not always about the photo captured, but the process of taking the time to capture it.
We love the frontier spirit of the North Fork and this is why Mollie and I have chosen to build part of our future in Polebridge, Montana. It’s a place that still embraces its past and an area that has held onto its brakes from modern times. A place where you can step back and move at a slower pace and see just how beautiful NW Montana is.
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….
Fly fishing in Montana, in the Middle Fork of the Flathead River under a cold winter sunset with Glacier National Park casting its final shadows over my line. A shared Montana moment with the great company of friends.
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…
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 battle for electricity. Off grid living in a winter wonderland. 360 watts of hourly power to fill our battery banks—including 2 Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar generators—with our yurt. After each snowfall we have to clear the panels in order to receive the free power of the sun.
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.