Thursday, January 6, 2011

We Are All from Somewhere Else

As some of you know, I’m not from Hawaii, although like many others I am drawn there; I love the islands, the climate, and the people there.  I grew up in rural Ohio, flat and glaciated.  For the past 40 years I have lived in suburban Connecticut, rocky and glaciated.  These are the places that I come from.
I’m guessing that almost everything in Hawaii comes from somewhere else.  Somewhere back in recent geologic time, the islands were an oozing mass of hot and recently cooled magma, coming from the depths of the earth.  This is still the case on the Big Island where tons of igneous rock still forms new land daily.  In Hawaii, you can stand on rock that is younger than you.  I’ve done that! 
Check it out at Volcano National Park:
Lava flows like a river out of a hardened crust. NPS photo by Katja Chudoba.
At some point in more recent human time, Polynesians in small boat set out from somewhere else and found the islands. These people were intrepid.   When they arrived they found the land and nearby seas already teaming with a unique assortment of flora and fauna, blown-in, carried-in by birds, or floated-in on the ocean currents. Later came western explorers (Cook et al) and easterners, brought largely to work.   Along with this potpourri of people and their cultures a came crazy quilt of invasive plants (fire tree, fountain grass) and animals (feral pigs, mongoose, rats, mosquitoes etc), and other blessings of the first world.  Oh my!
Today, we live in the up swell of a consumer economy. We all need stuff, a lot of it, and much of that comes from somewhere else too. Especially in far flung places like Hawaii.  Gas, food, Christmas trees, cars, lumber, and much more are imported from far away.
Even I am coming from somewhere else!
Yurts come from somewhere else as well.  Mine specifically from Montrose, Colorado, manufactured there by the good people at The Colorado Yurt Company.  They are movers and shakers amongst modern yurt manufacturers, recently staring their 35th year creating these unique habitations.  They cobble a good yurt.  I have two of them.
Title #0
So my 24 foot “Hawaiian” yurt has had its own travel adventure during the past two months.  It did not even exist until the beginning of November.  It was then I placed my order, and it was then that I suspect the measuring and sawing, the cutting sewing got started.   Sometime during the first week of December  a fork lift loaded bundles of beams and crates of canvas, doors and domes into the back of an 18-wheeler, soon heading west on I-70 to Los Angeles, San Francisco or other deep water ports.  Later riding in a shipping container stacked on the deck or in the hold of a giant freighter, it made its way across the Pacific, and onto the docks in rainy Hilo.    In the next day or so (circa January 5th), a local teamster will truck it the last 20 miles from Hilo to Ninole.  Amazing isn’t it?  Yes, yes, it is.  And pricey too, isn’t it?  Yes, yes it is.  The cost of shipping alone is reaching nearly $2700.  One thing certainly is going $omewhere else…
All of this process, from early shopping to trans-Pacific shipping has been facilitated by the good people at Yurts of Hawaii, mainly Melissa.  She has helped walk me through the process, step by step, advising me on what to order/add on, color, shipping, etc.  She is always there, quick to pick up the phone or shoot off an email.  Check out their website or on Facebook. 
It is fun to think that in a few days we (Melissa, my brother Scot, the yurt, and I) will all be in the same place. 
Amazing isn’t it?
Next:  hello, I must be going.


  1. Inquiring minds....will your yurt stay in Hawaii when you return home or will it follow you back to Salem, CT? Once built, it can be disassembled...yes? Or will it stay where you build it waiting for you to return?

  2. So, what happens to your yurt home in March? Will it remain in Hawaii or will you have it shipped home.....did you purchase it or rent it for your Hawaiian adventure? Inquiring minds.....

  3. Hey Linda,
    The yurt stays in Hawaii. I own it. We will first build a platform for it to sit upon, much like a deck. They can be disassembled and are portable, but barely, so it will stay on my brothers property in HI. Shipping is expensive. Besides I already have one here in my basement! That may be a project for another day...meanwhile, I will travel to HI and use that one. Aloha. -P