I mentioned ‘tipi’ with an air of seriousness, and the discussion wobbled clumsily off of the Airstream. (You can read more about why a yurt.) From viewing the enticing collection of nomadic structures at Colorado Yurt Co., to drawing out a footprint 20′ in diameter in our Florida front yard, our plans for long-term temporary shelter at Sahalee came full circle with Groovy Yurts.
Our yurt is an authentic Super Ger from Groovy Yurts that was handmade by artisans in Mongolia using ancient techniques. It was delivered with a smile and set-up with all the excitement and awe as you would expect. It’s been nearly two years of living in-the-round and we couldn’t imagine going back to an 1,800 SF box!
There was, of course, a lot to learn and some apprehension with the unfamiliar parts and maintenance but Yves and team really made everything positive in helping us to become better acquainted and accustomed to the organic portable dwelling. The on-site training was invaluable, and the on-going support is tops. Plus, their passionate mission and sustainable business model just makes our heart sing!!
The virtues of having this brilliant and resilient transportable den in our family is that:
- We can break it down in four hours with two people;
- It fits in the back of our little pickup;
- We can set it up virtually anywhere in a matter of hours;
- Once inside, you are transported to another time and place.
Even with a more permanent structure planned in the long-run, the Super Ger is here to stay!!
In two-years’ time we’ve experienced some strong winds, heavy snow, and soaking monsoons. The higher walls and roof line helped to deflect the winds and shed the rain and snow. In winds, the un-coated canvas urgh billows and the walls sometimes flap with big gusts. We’ve never been concerned enough to tie-down the tono with an inside weight.
W & SW wind gusts will vary from 50-70 mph on Thursday afternoon & early evening across much of northern & central NM. Dangerous cross winds & blowing dust in dust prone locations will make driving hazardous. Critical fire weather conditions are expected areawide. #nmwx pic.twitter.com/OiI40n74Fa
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— NWS Albuquerque (@NWSAlbuquerque) April 12, 2018
In light to moderate snow, the inside temp helps to melt any outside accumulation from the top down making long sculptured yurt-cicles that we knock off to let the canvas dry out. If we have a heavier snowfall (and at the little yurt with no heat), we’re sure to sweep as much of the snow from the roof as possible to keep the weight off.
During the monsoons, we’ve had a couple of small leaks at the tono despite our efforts to weatherproof. Water can channel in the seams of the removable window frames and make its way inside to make small drip. We are going to try again to work on a better way to seal the gaps without permanently affixing the frames. The added vapor barrier under the canvas helps to protect from saturation and seepage.
As far as moderating the swinging temperatures of the high desert, we’ve been very happy with keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer. With the help of Ostaf, we’ve been able to warm up the inside and manage a very cozy 70 degrees Farenheit (sometimes hitting 80-90 with a random piece of pitch wood). Without a fire in the stove, the thick wool insulation helps to retain the heat and give us a nice buffer from the outdoor freeze.
Outside of the upright structure, it’s important to note that the placement of the yurt on flat ground and a solid platform is of utmost importance. Our situation was unique in that we had to accommodate a quick-turn temporary placement to initially receive and raise the yurt for our first year at Sahalee. This resulted in a less than desirable installation, but we have since assumed a more level and solid arrangement upon the big deck.
Living in our Super Ger on our land has really changed our lives for the better. For the lack of modern conveniences, we make up for it with simple systems and more time in our natural environment. We can observe the hours and seasons pass through the tono, and listen to the sounds of the weather (and hummingbirds) swirling around us. Our yurt has reminded us of being Earthlings.
You too can create the life you dream of. All by design, not by luck not by happenstance but all by design. Set your goals and work towards them every day. Sound simple? It is!!!! We are here to help. We are proof that it can be done. #dontwait #takethebullbythehorns #yurtlife #sahaleeviews #superger
Learn more about these beautiful Mongolian gers from our good friend and ‘Yurt Daddy’ Yves in the video below… If you think the #yurtlife is for you, let us know if we can help you meet the truck on the next Groovy Yurts Delivery Tour!