The Beech Mountain Yurt, Or, The Only Way I Will Ever Go “Camping”

I promised to share a few more glimpses of the yurt we stayed in on Mount Desert Island in Maine, so here we go!

To begin, I should remark on the vision the proprietors of the yurts, Karen and Aaron, have for the future of the place, which is situated right on the border of Acadia National Park, in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Right now they have six yurts for rent, and they live in an additional yurt on the property. Another couple lives in a “tiny house” on the property as well, and a small, red barn houses a washer and dryer for visitors to use, as well as communal supplies, including a lobster pot, games, specialty kitchen utensils, and much more. In time, Karen and Aaron are hoping to expand the number of yurts for rent, and they are planning on the addition of a dedicated space for yoga and massage, as well as gardens and other community-oriented features. I think what they are doing is totally rad.

I was impressed by the peaceful vibe in the woods (which we likely shattered at any given number of moments), and the aesthetic beauty of the yurt “settlement.” The yurts have a unique shape, and these circular, domed dwellings fit so well in the wooded setting. Winding bark paths, tree-stump benches, and colorful hammocks tie the scene together nicely. The permanent residents have gardens in front of their dwellings, and they are practicing composting, which makes this composting advocate happy! (I’m pointing my thumbs at myself right now, in case you wondered).

Each yurt is comfortably furnished, and the overall effect is very pleasing. Many of the furnishings are from IKEA, the international deity of small-space living. I liked the inclusion of the ubiquitous Raskog cart, and appreciated the extra space that was made available by hanging spare chairs on the wall. In the kitchen, items such as a French press and a corkscrew were thoughtful additions. The overall color scheme was fresh and inviting.

The bathroom was great. An instant hot water heater kept this girl happy (thumbs pointing at self again). I like my hot water hot, and it did not disappoint. There’s also a lot to be said for a proper toilet while in the woods, so you’ll hear no complaints from me. (Yes, I am a diva. Now bring me a bowl of m&m’s … color green only).

One of my favorite features of the yurt was the clear dome at the top of the structure. Upon waking each morning, I could look up from a supine position and watch the trees swaying above. The sound of chirping birds filled the air, and sunlight gently  filtered in through the dome and side windows.

The floor of the yurt was smooth, cool concrete, so I was glad to have had the foresight to pack slippers for chilly mornings. Soft towels and comfortable bed linens were provided, and we also availed ourselves of the coin-op washing machine and dryer to freshen Little Thistle’s essentials halfway through our stay. As a militant cloth-diaperer, this was important to me in order to stay waste-free and keep Baby comfortable. It worked out perfectly!

We had a great time hanging out at Acadia Yurts, and would not hesitate to return. The experience was instructive in many ways, but it also helped me nail down the fact that yurt “camping” meets my rusticity comfort level. I enjoyed myself, and I didn’t miss any of the inconveniences of actual tent camping (pit toilets, soggy tents, et al.). As an affirmed B&B / historic-resort type gal, I wasn’t sure how I might fare, but I am happy to report that even fussy folks can handle, nay, enjoy, a yurt! The little ones were quite comfortable as well. Had we been “roughing it” I doubt my report would be so glowing, especially in terms of traveling with an infant.

When I expressed concern that maybe I looked like a poser, acting like I belonged in the woods, Mr. Thistle assured me that I appeared totally legit. Isn’t he sweet? 🙂 (For the record, this was all my idea, and I do enjoy hanging in the woods, but my paralyzing fear of ticks and their bloodsucking compatriots reduces me to a paranoid basketcase. Not sleeping in a pile of leaves was a decent antidote to this).

So, is Yurting in your future? Are you a hard-core camper who can sleep on a rock or the type who likes a fluffy pillow under your head at night? I’d love to hear about your outdoorsy adventures!

With Peace,

Jennie

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