Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is a yurt?

I'm glad you asked that questioned. It's basically a sweat lodge where you spend time hallucinating and passing out in order to transcend time and space and come to greater wisdom and self enlightenment. 
That's a lie.
But I do like balderdash. 
A yurt is a type of tent. They can be small and portable or they can be fancier and have bathrooms, wifi, and air conditioning like ours did. (You should know by now that I don't like to "rough it") We stayed in one for our belated anniversary trip in Arkansas while the grandparents babysat!
Let me back up though. We drove south from the family reunion in Branson to the Boston Mountains of NW Arkansas in what might be the prettiest drive I've ever been on. I can't imagine how awesome the scenery is in the fall! We might have to go back! 
We arrived in the tiny town of Chester and proceeded to find the correct one lane gravel road up the side of a mountain until we came to Stone Wind Retreat (who despite their overuse of the Papyrus font provide a wonderful place to relax)
The place sits atop one of the mountains in a clearing. It's beautiful and peaceful and quiet. We spent most of our time hanging out in the yurt, reading, listening to rain fall, reading, eating on the deck, spotting deer and rabbits, reading, listening to elk (?) in the distance, or occasionally watching a show or movie. 
We went on a nature walk one evening, but Ryan came back with 10 ticks on him (!) so we chose not to go trekking there much more. (They prob climbed on him while I told him to pose for this pic!)
When we did feel adventurous we drove into Alma for some antiquing. The town was pretty run down, but when we arrived at this beautiful oasis in the middle of a condemned historic downtown scene, we had to check it out. 
Apparently Alma is the spinach capital of the world, so they worship Popeye here. I posed with their idol. (People must not be eating enough spinach because the town needs some repairs!) 
We also went to Lake Fort Smith state park one day for a picnic and nature hike. I think it is here that we encountered a community of chiggers and Ryan's ankle now looks like he has leprosy. Poor Ry, the bugs just love him!
We went on another scenic drive and stopped at Artist Point to take some pics, get some souvenirs, see the hundreds of hummingbirds they feed off the back porch (so cool but so hard to get a photograph of!) and watch a storm roll in over the mountains. 
We stayed in the yurt for 3 glorious nights. On the way back to Branson we stopped at the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville. It's free (or as they tell you upon entrance "your membership is paid for by Wal-Mart") and despite it's Wal-Mart ties, has some pretty impressive architecture and grounds!  
The art was ok, I enjoyed the 20th century stuff way more than the old portraits. This was my favorite sculpture. 
Let me zoom in for you.
So realistic and creepy.
Anyway it was one of the most peaceful and relaxing vacations I've ever had and despite my love of going to new places...we might have to come back to these yurts! 


The Moores said...

Wow, that guy is really creepy. Weird. What a beautiful place, I wouldn't mind living in Chester, AR :). (By the way, we did our wedding invitations in Papyrus, it hold a special place in my heart.)

kmom said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for the pictures!

Leslie said...

ack! that sculpture is worse than tooth story!!! ok, maybe not, but tying for close second. did i tell you that we have friends that live full-time in a yurt?

Shawn and Becky said...

Looks lovely. Everything except for the bugs that is.

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