It’s true: I dream about living in a yurt. Yes, a yurt: a portable circular tent-type structure of Mongolian design. Yurts were once used by nomadic people in Central Asia, but today they’re being sold and set up on mountain property by companies such as Pacific Yurts. Since I’m now living in Vail, Colorado, and real estate prices are ridiculous (hundreds of thousands of dollars for a wimpy studio apartment), the idea of living in a yurt has become more attractive. It would work, I think, to have some land and live in a yurt. I know two people who do this (one in Idaho and another in Colorado), and I’m sure that there are some challenges with this idea, such as where to put the outhouse and how to manhaul in your supplies, but there are plenty of people out there who are making it happen. When The Sister recently visited, we showshoed into the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, located about a mile away from the base of the Cooper ski area, near Leadville, Colorado.
The Cookhouse is a yurt that has been set up as a nice restaurant—I would definitely recommend it for anyone coming to visit the area (and go for the elk tenderloin; it was good). Visitors can choose to either strap on showshoes or cross-country ski in through the forest.
I thought that they did the outhouse quite nicely (above, back right). It was built near the yurt, and they had decorated the inner walls with vintage ski posters and had candles burning inside so that you could see what you were doing.
The inside of the yurt was warmed by a wood stove, and the windows allowed for some good natural lighting. I think that this yurt was 34- or 36-feet in diameter, which would allow for a crowd of up to 30 diners. I couldn’t help but sit there and sip wine while thinking about what it would be like to have a yurt of my own…