Lessons from the pass
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

October 14, 2018

These past couple of months have been a roller coaster of daily highs and lows as I move from one challenge to the next. It has not been easy and I often feel like I am behind on the eight ball as different tasks run concurrently or should while building the infrastructure for four tiny homes, actually constructing the first, searching out a new job and trying to have a roof done before winter sets in. The verdict on making it before the brunt of winter is still out, but being committed to the project means it will come to fruition one way or another, and it is that fact I choose to take comfort in. The only question is but that of the journey and how it might vary.

Cross beams in place for 24ft platform diameter

During this process I’ve been asked multiple times, “why yurts?”. My answer is to build simply, and focus on need versus want. I don’t believe happiness originates from want, so it would seem silly to focus on that as a guiding condition when building a home. Probably classified as a tiny home, I believe a yurt with a living space of 452 square feet is ideal for spending more time outside, less time cleaning inside, saving money on utilities, and avoiding paying thirty years towards something that “the market” tells you is a worthy cause. Other tiny home concepts might work in other areas, but given that I have chosen to make a home amongst the Sangre De Cristo peaks at 8,500 feet, makes winter the most challenging aspect and thereby heating/insulation a top priority. Given that yurts were designed by the Mongolians to provide their families shelter where winters can be some of the harshest on earth has not gone unnoticed. Thus, the yurt was more a sum of my conditional inputs instead of a decision that then required sliding logic. When I say sliding logic, it is to jump first and reason later, often associated with impulse buys.

Onwards and upwards

So as I toil through the daily victories and defeats of building a home with my hands for the first time, instilling all my imperfections onto the wood deck of this tiny home, I smile knowing I am working from a place of logic aiming at independence and a debt free simple lifestyle. I don’t think I am alone in this quest either as I see it as the new American Dream. I have been fortunate enough to have some visitors along the way extend a helping hand and smile when in turn, they too see that they are completely capable of building an affordable simple home should they choose. This is one of the best, most human feelings that I believe exists. I think it is these moments when we are most alive, when we connect and are empowered. It is also unfortunately one of the first things that the mechanization of society strips from us. One of the core missions of this school / retreat will be designed around empowering the individual who choose to come and play. We are enough, we are capable, and we don’t need things or more stuff to prove it. I have already learned a mountain of details and methods in building my first foundation and will apply each lesson learned going forward.

Last of the Aspens

I hope to complete the deck this week and erect the yurt shortly thereafter. Building the interior will, I am sure, be a new messy can of worms. I’ll keep those lessons learned close though, so that when you visit, I might pass them more easily to you. This week’s forecast looks like sun… want to come and play?

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