For Sean, it’s not always about the photo captured, but the process of taking the time to capture it.
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.
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.
Mollie and my drive home may not be very warm – but this “convertible” has some nice upgrades such as electric hand warmers and a spacious trunk.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
A late afternoon of casting flies and catching cutthroat (& releasing) with friends — there’s nothing quite like Montana fly fishing in October.
Our Goal Zero solar panels are now on a temporary mount for this winter. The true battle of yurt living may simply be trying to keep up with the snowfall and keeping the panels from becoming buried.