Monday, January 19, 2015

Our Yurt Weekend

This weekend, Zack and I (along with our dog Molly) spent two nights in a yurt. Back when we started the Kyrgyzstan adoption process, we were also trying to plan our winter activities, and we wanted to finally do a snowshoe hut trip, which is a popular winter activity here in Colorado. I was really set on finding one that was an actual yurt, versus a normal cabin, because my research into Kyrgyzstan showed me that the nomadic Kyrgyz people lived in these structures. We also needed to find a place that allowed dogs. The Old Baldy Yurt owned by Ute Lodge was perfect for us!

On Friday, we made the long (almost five hour) drive out past Meeker, Colorado to the start of the trail. There was lots of wildlife to be seen, including deer, elk, several wild turkeys, a skunk, and some sort of wildcat. We then had a two mile snowshoe up to the yurt, which was a lot harder than it sounds. We were carrying heavy backpacks full of food and warm clothes for the weekend, it was all uphill through deep snow (though a snowmobile had thankfully made a path), and the sun set while we were hiking so it got really dark. We were SO happy to finally find the yurt, but it took awhile for the wood stove to get going and warm up the inside!

It was such a peaceful weekend. We didn't see or hear another soul. We spent our time reading, knitting (me), playing guitar (Zack), playing games, snowshoeing to the nearby aspens (some of the largest in the world apparently), and just relaxing. We even sat outside and made our own watercolor paintings of the yurt at sunset! The propane stove worked great, and we had lots of delicious meals and snacks. At these huts, you melt snow on the stove to have water to use, and that was pretty easy to do as well. While I took care of the cooking, Zack kept the yurt warm by feeding wood and coal to the stove, even in the middle of the night.

We snowshoed back down on Sunday afternoon and unfortunately got caught in some ski traffic on the way home. But it was a special weekend away, and we felt like we got to connect a bit with our boy's Kyrgyz ancestors by staying in a yurt. Did you know the middle of the symbol on the Kyrgyzstan flag actually symbolizes the roof of a yurt?!

P.S. Our agency has promised that we'll know our court date by the end of this week!

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