CW at the Daily Time Waster posted this photo of Refuge de Bouquetins, a yurt high in the Alps near Valais, Switzerland. 

I don’t know why this sort of dusty glacial mountain top in the remote Alps calls to me. I’m possibly quite mad. But life, the splitting, joining and struggling can sometimes make you feel as though a yurt at 14,000 feet is a rational choice. Modern life with its infernal complexities seems somehow alien to the human spirit. 

(Yurt is the Russian word, ger is the Mongolian word for the structure) This structure (above) would seem to be a species of modified yurt – maybe designed to withstand the snow weight better? 

No cell phone, no bandwidth, no noise beyond the wind and occasional thunder, simple food — might drive me crazier. Maybe. Or maybe not. I’m not going to Valais to live in a yurt. But now and then I think about it.
There is a log cabin version of same (left) in a more verdant setting. Despite my natural preference for the log cabin, the traditional yurt would be warmer and likely cleaner than the log structure.
WoFat and I have a friend who used to live in a yurt. In fact, I was there when he bought it and loaded it onto my truck. They’re not easy to put up but once erected, they have the virtue of withstanding almost anything that nature can throw at them.

They’re an evolved form of the Plains Indian’s tee-pee and can be carried travois style by horses in migratory moves. They’re still widely used on the Mongolian steppes with very few changes over the past 3000 years.


  1. "Modern life with its infernal complexities seems somehow alien to the human spirit." Totally agree.

    That said, there's yurts and there's yurts. Hippies like to live in one sort. I avoid those. Like the plague.

  2. I'm not implying a life without some modern conveniences such as bar soap, shampoo, potable water and edible food. All I'm saying is that the solitude in that place or one like it, beckons.

  3. I stayed in a yurt once, in the Virgin Islands. No phone/internet. Still had some sort of bathroom thing going on. It was fantastic! Highly, highly recommend. Better still was the ferry ride getting out there. A storm was coming in– it was exactly like being on a very bizarre roller coaster (of the real-life, I-migh-die-tonight sort). Fun times, all around! (though the storm churned up the waters and made for spooky snorkeling– several close calls with huge jelly fish because visibility was bad. anyway, I digress.)

    My point is: You should do it! Get yourself to a yurt, at least for a while!!

  4. I could take the hills and the view for about 30 minutes. Then I'd want to get back to my books, the net and Peanut Butter M&Ms.

  5. I'm not saying that books wouldn't be on the agenda – and who doesn't love M&M's? The Net — cell phones — too much access.

  6. The sad truth is that I'm working too hard to escape like that. Sigh. I'm just a kid with his nose pressed up against the glass.

  7. I LOOOVE peanut butter M&Ms. They did not exist when I was in a yurt. This is a serious factor that one must consider.
    Larry, you'll have to take a huge stash with you. (assuming you are sane and love them too)

  8. I'm a clean freak. The only way to treat a filthy hippie is to bury them beneath clean earth where their parasites and bugs will remain.

  9. May have to settle for a night under the stars in the back of my pick-up somewhere between Truckee and Tahoe. But that's not half bad.

  10. I've done that and indeed it is a marvelous way to sleep – if you have a decent sleeping bag. If that is what you have time for, then do it.

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