Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Am a Rich Man

I may be one of the few individuals in the world who owns TWO yurts.  Perhaps a bit of hyperbole here, but in fact, I do own two.  One is in my basement and the other is crossing the Pacific on its way to Hilo, Hawaii even as I write.  Yes, I am a rich man.
As for the ocean going yurt, it is the one that I will be building in Ninole, Hawaii over the next months.  There will likely be a number of blog entries, photos, and videos documenting this whole process.  More on that to come.
(Breaking news!  The yurt is in Hawaii and will be picked up and delivered in the coming week, thanks to my brother Scot and other generous Hawaiians.  It will be there when I arrive on January 10Th.  Yeah!!!)
The yurt in my basement is another tale.
Cruising the Internet a few years back, I found a used 30’ yurt for sale on a yurt website.  It was only slightly used and available at half the original price.  Mustering a bit of gumption I made a deal with the owners, sent a check FedEx, and it was mine!  Only a couple problems.  First, it was in Ohio, and I was in Connecticut.  Hmmm.  Fortunately and generously, friends of mine Pat and Gordon have a box truck that was perfect for carting a yurt.  So off to Ohio!  Picking up the yurt with the help of my brother Mark was easy.  Driving 1200 miles in three days was easy.  Storing it temporarily in my basement was easy.    Finding a place to put it permanently, not so easy. 
I searched for several years for a suitable location, but there were (and are) obstacles.  Land is not cheap.  Building codes are not yurt-friendly. Most building officials are unfamiliar with yurts, to say the least.   Is it a “membrane structure”?  Is it fire proof, is it strong enough, does it need a septic system?  All problems.  Many east coast locations appeared to raise two problems.  Cost and code.  I looked in upstate New York and central Pennsylvania. Some possibilities there, but ultimately they were too far from friends, family, and potential.  So long story short, the yurt remains to this day, in my basement.  Its potential un-realized.
The whole process of dealing with location, building and zoning codes, etc., voided the basic idea that I have held dear regarding yurts.  They are simple and elegant.  I wanted my first yurt experience to be just that, simple and elegant.  I don’t mind working, if fact this work will be enjoyable.  I don’t mind the cost, to the limit of my budget, or the time.  I just want the whole event and the processes leading up to it to be positive.
And it wasn’t.
So my yurt is stored in my basement, waiting for the right moment.
Next time:  I turn my eyes west, or yurts in Hawaii.

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