Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   yurting again
Monday, August 10 2009

setting: rural Hurley Township, New York

Today Gretchen and I drove up to the Adirondacks with the dogs to live in a yurt for a few days, much as we did back in December of 2006. We went to the same place as then, though we'd be staying in the other of the two Falls Brook yurts and we wouldn't be bringing Marie (aka "the Baby"). Originally we'd planned to bring the Baby, but our friend Susan convinced Gretchen that it would probably make the Baby happiest if she didn't have to go.
So we loaded up the things we'd be needed and headed north up the Thruway past Albany, Saratoga, and Glens Falls, and then through the marginal hardscrabble hamlets of the Adirondacks to the roadside parking space at the trailhead closest to the yurts. The last time we'd gone to the yurts, we'd brought a little metal wagon to help with porting in our supplies. But this time we'd known the conditions and knew that the cart (which, in any case, has been occupied with a Honda Civic engine and transmission for over a year), was unsuitable to the surface of the trail. This time we'd originally considered using a hand truck, but our particular hand truck wouldn't fit in the Honda Civic so all we had were our backpacks and a large travel bag that happened to have wheels on one corner, the kind suitable for rolling over the even floor of an airport concourse. These wheels actually ended up working fairly well on the sandy and rocky path, with Gretchen and me pulling (and occasionally lifting) from the bag's top corner at either end of a stick, like a pair of yoked oxen.
The layout of our yurt was different from that of the one we'd stayed in two and a half years ago in that the bunk beds were all pushed against the walls, with a larger open area in the middle. Otherwise it was largely the same, with pots, pans, eating utensils, a propane stove top, and lots of candles. No battery-powered light had been provided, and all the batteries were dead in our car's flashlights.
As always, Gretchen wanted to go do things the moment we arrived, whereas I was content to just stretch out on the couch and read (I've been reading The Miserable Mill, the fourth volume of Lemony Snicket's (A Series of Unfortunate Events.) And so she went down to the car, not once but twice, the first time to get something, and the second time to get the thing she'd gone for the first time, but this time with the car's key.
As the afternoon waned, I began to assembling leaves and sticks for a fire in the outdoor fire pit. Dry sticks were easy to find, usually in the form of dead lower branches on spruces and hemlocks. But it hadn't rained long before, and all but the surface leaves were too damp to be of help. So I found myself lightly-brushing the leafy forest floor to rake together only the topmost leaves. As for bigger pieces of wood, we didn't have any way so saw them up, so I crossed several over the fire pit to let the fire burn through them.
After I had the fire going, Gretchen brought out the manuscript for a children's book she'd written, and together we story-boarded it so I'd be able to illustrate it.
For dinner, we split a bottle of wine and ate spaghetti and tomato sauce made with our own home grown tomatoes. I'd also grilled portobello mushrooms and slices of marinaded tofu, which we added as a sort of meat to our sauce.
Meanwhile, the dogs were behaving strangely. Sally was spending most of her time under the yurt, sometimes digging (perhaps for a varmint) while Eleanor was reluctant to come outside, seeming to prefer sleeping for hours at a time on one of the beds or the couch.

The yurt.

Our firepit and picnic table.

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