As a boy growing up in Colorado, I had a golden opportunity to experience all the splendor this state provides. I started skiing at Winter Park when I was a youngster. My brother and I actually started the mountain biking craze back in the ‘60’s riding our stingray bikes on all the horse trails in the Winter Park area in the summer. We fished, hiked, worked in our parent’s restaurant and went to school in a tiny school house in Fraser.
Growing up this way gets the mountains in your blood. I seek to go back there at every opportunity. Throughout my life, I’ve always wanted that secluded place high on a mountain, far, far away from anything resembling civilization. Skiing at Loveland as a kid, I was always envious of the cabin half way up the mountain, thinking what a cool place it would be to live there, and that someday, I would have a place like that.
My day job is a web developer. My mentor in the business, Lee, whom I’ve known for over 20 years, collaborated with his wife, Jeanne and her sister, Lynne to purchase the property where the yurt stands. They built the deck, assembled the yurt atop it and then proceeded to spend a lot of time each summer staying there and enjoying the splendor the valley has to offer.
Alas, Lee and Jeanne moved to Florida to be close to grand kids. Lynne lives in Michigan. Opportunities for them at the yurt started to be fewer and farther between. After they moved, they asked me to go stay and check things out.
Finally, early June a couple years ago, I decided to take them up on the offer and visit the yurt. Finding it, at first, was a real trick. It’s right below the road where you park, but I had to wander around the forest in the wrong direction for a while before I found it.
As I descended the path to the yurt, I noticed something amiss. The yurt was listing to the north. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the north side of the yurt had a large snow drift, and the weight of the snow snapped the beams and joists underneath. My first night at the yurt was a cold one, as it started to snow and we had a big hole in the floor not helping matters.
I took a bunch of pictures of the damage and sent them to Lee, who in turn sent them to Jeanne and Lynne. I got an almost immediate response asking what happened, if I could fix it, how much it would cost, etc. I brought my friend, Bob, who is absolutely the most amazing contractor on the planet to inspect and provide a quote.
So, off Bob, my son, Keller, and I went to the yurt to repair the damage. We had to jack it up in multiple steps and temporarily support it while we replaced posts, beams and joists. I am proud to say that the deck is not going to go anywhere now and the yurt proudly stands tall.
I sent pictures of the repair to Lee, Jeanne and Lynne. They were thankful and impressed. A day or so later, my mentor and friend, Lee, calls me and asks, “Do you want to buy a yurt?”
I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be asked this question and be offered the opportunity to fulfill a dream of mine. I said yes, and now I own a yurt.
Since this time, I’ve climbed Mount Sherman, which is right outside the door. I’ve also climbed Horseshoe Mountain, hiked around the lakes in Horseshoe’s amphitheater, and yelled my head off to return the most amazing echoes. I’ve walked through the fields of wildflowers in the summer and skied the snow filled bowls above in the winter. I’ve mountain biked Brown’s Pass to get over to the Sheep Creek area, which is about as good as it gets for lonely single track as far away from civilization as you can get.
I’ve also sat on the deck, after a hard day of biking or hiking, glass of bourbon in my hand, and watched the alpenglow on Mt Sherman and Horseshoe Mountain as the sun sets behind the Mosquito Range. I’ve been in my sleeping bag looking through the dome on the roof and marveled at the star filled sky, so much so that it motivates me to go outside and just look up for a while. If you haven’t seen the Milky Way, this is a great place to do so.
Kurt’s Yurt is also in the epicenter of central Colorado. Buena Vista, Salida, Fairplay and Breckenridge are all within spittin’ distance. If you ski or snowboard, mountain bike, hike, climb 14ers, fish, hunt or just like poking around quaint towns, this can all be yours from here as well.
So, why Kurt’s Yurt? I love it there, and am proud to be able to share this little piece of heaven with you. It is stunningly beautiful and thankfully peaceful. Sorry, no cell service or internet, you’ll just have to play cards and talk with your friends, or just listen to the wind rustle the trees outside and Four Mile Creek flow past the yurt below. It’s a yurt, so don’t expect chocolates on your pillows. What you can expect is the most amazing time away from all the hustle bustle, surrounded by heaven.
Hope to see you soon!