Yurt Questions Answered: Can You Live in a Yurt?

There are lots of reasons to consider living in a yurt.

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The most common motivation is to live a simpler life, perhaps debt-free and definitely closer to nature. A yurt home is often a fraction of the cost of a traditional home, appealing to people who are just starting out or downsizing for retirement. Many people use a yurt as their residence while building a house, then use the yurt as a guest house or studio later. A yurt as a summer home is idyllic, with the breezes and sunshine close to you.  While the warmth and durability of a yurt in winter makes it a cozy retreat.

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Yurt interior

Like any building project and life change, yurt living takes a bit of planning.

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First, you probably need to get the a-okay from your city, county and maybe your homeowners association to occupy a yurt full time. There is a wide range of rules and regulations within our own state, and we have seen that the codes are subject to local interpretation. Our staff is ready to help you through the permitting process, should you need our expertise. We can help by providing engineering calculations for the yurt, certifying the snow and wind load. Our yurts can meet the international building code for structural loads. Our Winter Stout Alpine Yurt is engineered for extremely high, unbalanced snow loads.

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If you are living in your yurt, you might want plumbing and electricity. We encourage you to work with local contractors, and consider putting utilities in your deck or platform plans. We can advise you on your deck or platform type, whether a wooden deck or concrete slab or SIPS.  We have suggested deck plans on our website to download. If you need an engineered deck, these plans are a great starting place- and a qualified architect or engineer can modify them for your site.

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Room partitions in yurts are better as free-standing or partial walls. That way, you don’t compromise the tall, spacious feel of the yurt. We have some ideas for dividing your space on our pinterest page, and we have a few simple floor plans we can share.

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You can put a kitchen and a bathroom in a yurt, as well as a loft (in larger yurts). The yurt interior is your creative palette. You can make it as polished or as rustic as your lifestyle dictates. We’ve seen yurts that are interior design masterpieces and yurts that are simple, rustic spaces for family relaxation on a remote property.

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When you chose yurt living, you will find that the simplicity, the round shape and the glorious sky view through the dome all contribute to a unique way of life that you didn’t imagine before. We are here to help you with the planning of your dream, and we will look forward to many photos of your new home.

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Twenty-five Years of Yurt Building at Colorado Yurt Company

A lot has changed at Colorado Yurt Company in the past 25 years. There have been 4 different locations and a couple different logos. The number of employees has gone from less-than-ten to over thirty.

Colorado Yurt Company will not be the same.

But, one thing hasn’t changed in 25 years. Clint Huddleston has come to work every day to put his skill and dedication to work for the company. He builds yurts, sews tipis and tents, pitches all three, packs them for shipping, maintains the equipment and happily answers countless questions about our products from new staff and customers.

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Clint is a California guy at heart.  His childhood was spent surfing the waves off Huntington Beach and riding motorcycles. After a stint in the US Navy, he met a woman from Colorado. Laura grew up in Ouray, CO and wanted to live in the mountains she loved. So, the California guy followed his heart, and moved to the San Juan mountains to marry her. They raised three kids- and are now proud grandparents of two very adorable little girls.

These days, Clint rides his dirt bike over mountain passes and takes a surfing vacation back to California every year- to keep his first love in his life.

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At Colorado Yurt Company, Clint is an integral part of our business. He knows about the product, understands the process of building a quality yurt, tipi or tent and is a reliable, conscientious manager who is a great example to the rest of the crew.

Clint has had some memorable moments over the years, from attending trade shows to setting up tents for celebrity weddings. His favorite jobs were a yurt pitch on Laguna Beach in 2001 and repairing tents with Dan in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (a beach location seems to be the common factor). He’s traveled from California to Florida and Mexico to Canada working for Colorado Yurt.

Colorado Yurt crew and How It's Made crew.

Clint has especially enjoyed the people he’s met over the years and the variety of experiences he’s had in his job. He says, “It’s always an adventure.”

We’re lucky to have him as part of the CYC family, and look forward many more years.

 

 

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Colorado Yurt Company Cimarron Tents at Huckleberry Tent & Breakfast

Sleeping in a tent in the woods… you have a rock wedged under your left shoulder, cold rain drips on your face and you silently curse the person who had this crazy idea…

That’s how some people experience tent camping.

A better way is at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast in Clark Fork, Idaho. At Huckleberry, guests sleep in our Cimarron Platform tents furnished with luxurious beds and hand-quilted bedding, a kitchen area and even bikes to borrow. Each tent has a sitting area out front to enjoy the views and listen to the sounds of nature. The hosts prepare a fresh breakfast, and share their quaint, family farm with guests. They have gardens, goats, chickens and pets- as well as the local wildlife and scenery.

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A tripadvisor review of Huckleberry sums it up:

My husband and I just spent a night at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast, and it was a pure delight! Christine and Tim and their entire, lovely family made us feel very welcome. After expressing interest in their homestead, they even took the time to show us around and talk about how they live off-grid. The tent site was superb. It was quiet and private, and the kitchen was stocked with everything from s’mores ingredients to bug spray. The bed in the tent was comfortable, and by shutting the tent flaps we were easily able to stay warm all night. Breakfast the next morning (breakfast burritos) was delicious. Stay here if you want an unforgettably unique B&B experience.

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Christine and Tim became customers of Colorado Yurt Company over 9 years ago. They came to us for our Cimarron platform tents. They are still using those same tents- and their guests love them.

Christine says, “We love Colorado Yurt’s Canvas Wall Tents. They have held up wonderfully for 9 YEARS!! of being in business. High quality and strongly recommended “

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Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast was a leader in the glamping movement, (opening before glamping was even a word). For those who don’t know, glamping is defined in the urban dictionary as: Shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.

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Our tent orders have grown with the popularity of this concept. Cimarron Tents are perfect for retreats, resorts, bed and breakfasts and camps looking to provide glamping accommodations. It’s a trend that appeals to a family wanting to experience the outdoors without “roughing it” too much. Couples go glamping to get away from the everyday stresses and reconnect.

A Cimarron Tent, a warm quilt, the sounds of nature on the other side of your wall… what are you waiting for? Go Glamping!

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Some of the locals at Huckleberry Tent and BreakfastHuckleberry5

 

 

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Colorado Yurts at Peaceful Acres Horses in upstate NY

In 2002, Nanci Beyerl was experiencing grief, loss and trauma after a divorce. She was fragile, frightened and needed healing. Panic attacks and hopelessness plagued her. As she struggled to move forward, she relocated herself and her 4 horses to a dilapidated old farm near Pattersonville, NY. She intended to heal her soul and perhaps help others. She didn’t plan to rescue horses.

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Over time, however, her farm and her mission grew. She took in horses from abusive homes. She rescued horses from kill pens, and adopted off track thoroughbreds. She made room for donkeys and ponies, and even brought home a few goats. As the herd grew, she saw how the animals could help to heal people. An abused child connected to an abused horse, and the presence of a horse’s velvet muzzle and soulful eyes calmed a cancer patient. She went back to school and got her master’s degree in social work to further her ability to help others. She was joined by volunteers who shared her vision for horses and healing.

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Today, Peaceful Acres hosts workshops and retreats for foster children, veterans, couples in crisis, cancer survivors and others who need the healing power of community and connection. The farm is now 154 acres and home to 65 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys. It costs over $4000 to feed and care for each horse. Fundraising and sponsorships have become as big a part of Nanci’s job as counseling and healing.

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As the farm grew, they needed innovative and affordable space for workshops. In 2010, Nanci and a friend stopped by Colorado Yurt Company in Montrose, CO after vacationing in nearby Ridgway and seeing the yurts at Orvis Hot Springs. They toured our facility and fell in love with the space inside a yurt. With the help of a grant from the Charles Wood Foundation, Peaceful Acres added their first yurt in 2011. Last year, they added a second.

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The yurts are used for workshops, retreats, dinners and spaces for reflection and meditation. Peaceful Acres rents the yurts to groups and individuals, raising needed funds to feed horses and promote their work. Nanci says, “Offering the amazing space of a 30 foot yurt from The Colorado Yurt company has given Peaceful Acres Horses an opportunity to invite guests and donors to the rescue sanctuary to enjoy events, lunches and meetings in a very unique setting. Most people who live in The Capital Region of NY State have never been in a yurt. Because of our yurts, they now can get a true feel for the space and all it has to offer. We hope to add 4-6 more on the property for accommodations and wellness retreat programs. “

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Looking forward, Nanci sees yurts, tipis and tents used for sleeping spaces for the farm. Also, she would like to add a smaller yurt for yoga, and a coffee house yurt. Her fundraising continues, as the vision and need for Peaceful Acres work with horses and people grows.

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Yurt Questions Answered: Who Pitches My Yurt?

You want to buy a yurt. You love the look, the feel, the space, the image. You have a spot picked out and you’re savvy enough to build your platform – or you’ve hired a contractor. But, you can’t get past some big questions… Who is going to set this thing up? Is it a daunting task? Can you actually do it yourself?

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Most of our customers pitch the yurt themselves with a small group of friends. Depending upon the size of the yurt and the skill of the crew, it takes 3-6 people. We send you a list of tools you’ll need (mostly just ladders, a cordless drill and a few wrenches). With the larger yurts, you will want scaffolding. You should schedule enough time to put it together without rushing- usually a day or two depending on the yurt size and options.

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The first step is to have your deck in place. The yurt needs to be on a solid deck that is a circle the same size as the yurt (a “simple” deck) or on a larger deck with a circular raised area that is the size of the yurt. We have plans available on our website.  If you want a warmer, four-season yurt, you can add insulation in the deck under the yurt. Utilities—water, drains and electricity—come up through the deck too.

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Next, watch for that truck. We ship most yurts by freight carrier. It’s going to be a sizeable load, so it helps to have a forklift or tractor with a fork. If you don’t have access to that, you can hand unload with the help of friends, or you can unpack the crates.

We have clear instructions that work for most people (It helps to read them ahead of time). We also have several videos and slide shows where you can see the process.  And, we are available by phone on weekdays- just in case you need to check something with us.

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But, what if you don’t want to tackle it yourself?

No problem. You can either hire a contractor or hire our crew. Most economical- if you live far away from us- is to hire a local contractor. Perhaps the same person can build the deck and the yurt.

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If you want our help, we are the experts! We have two options: an expert assist or a full pitch.

With the expert assist, we send a knowledgeable and bossy person out to supervise your crew. You get some strong, capable friends and our crew boss will make sure the yurt is pitched just the way it should be.

If you choose to have our full crew- you sit back in your lawn chair with a cool beverage and watch our skilled crew set up your yurt. They’ll do a great job, usually finish quickly- and you’ll have the yurt ready to use.

Call us for a quote and to check our schedule for pitching.

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Yurts, Tipis and Tents: Handmade in a World of Mass Production

Handmade. Custom. Uniquely yours.

There are many ways to communicate what we do at Colorado Yurt Company. But, what it comes down to is this: we don’t have a factory across the globe making our products. Instead, we have talented craftsmen and craftswomen who put their hands on each structure, and craft each element. People often ask where our products are made, and are surprised when we answer- right here in Montrose, Colorado. We’re a small business in a small town in a very beautiful spot in Colorado.

Colorado Yurt Company will not be the same.

Colorado Yurt Company offices in Montrose, CO

In a world where retailers are talking about drone deliveries and products are stacked to the ceiling in chain stores, we are a rarity. We aren’t against modernization and technology- we just prefer to maintain a personal touch- with quality, customization and professionalism in everything we do.

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Maya has been sewing in our tipi/tent department for over 7 years

Each of our options is chosen with quality in mind. That means a handcrafted door on each yurt. That means windows placed to maximize the view and breezes on your land. That means hand painting each design on your tipi and each tent fly finished by hand.

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Marina cuts fabric for a new tent

We work with each customer to decide what options are best for their yurt, tipi or tent. That’s why we don’t have an online order form. It’s a conversation when you order. We ask where you live, how you are using your dwelling and often learn a lot about you. It’s the start of a relationship in many cases. After that, we schedule the crafting of the structure in our shop.

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Brandon works on a valance for a yurt

After the process starts, we build what you’ve ordered. We don’t have inventory of yurts, tipis and tents in a warehouse ready to ship out. We make each one – with your fabric choice, your options and your special requests written on each work order. It has your name on it from start to finish. When there is any question, one of our crew members walks across the shop to the office and asks whomever you talked to on the phone.

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Rick (shipping) and Donald (sales) confer on a shipment

We always like to hear from customers after the sale, too. We share feedback with the whole company. Our crew especially likes to hear stories of how the yurt, tipi or tent is being enjoyed. We believe we aren’t just making canvas structures, but we are making dreams come true.

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Chris and Jerry start the hand-finish on a door

We understand the culture of bargain hunting that is prevalent in our culture. However, we also believe in delivering the best product possible, at the most competitive prices while giving our valuable employees a living wage and utilizing their unique skills.

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Anna has worked in our yurt department for over six years

As another year winds down, we look forward to a growing number of people who agree with us.

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Yurt Company Customer Stories: Two Yurts make Hunting Camp Dream Come True.

This blog is written by a recent yurt customer in Colorado.

A few years ago I purchased some wilderness land in Northwest Colorado, primarily as an investment. I’m a city boy, having been raised in Chicago and never exposed to camping or rugged outdoor adventures. I was surprised to find how attracted I became to the wilderness.

To sate my appetite for my new found love of being in the woods, (hiking and tracking elk herds and deer, discovering grouse leks and the serenity of dense Aspen groves and majestic stands of Douglas Fir), I bought a wall tent. Then two wall tents, then a cook fly, then camping trailers. Well, you get it, I was hooked.

While we ended up with a very adequate hunting camp, I wanted to upgrade so I could easily live and entertain in complete comfort while still respecting the natural beauty and serenity of the land. The obvious choice to me was a rustic but somewhat plush cabin or even a multi-room house.

Factoring in solar power, water, septic systems, lumber, and so many other things, I couldn’t justify putting that much money into my passion. Then, a wise friend suggested the idea of yurts. As they say, “The rest is history”.

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While my ignorance was complete, I started investigating on-line and quickly realized that Colorado Yurt Company was by far my manufacturer of choice. My land is high altitude and gets heavy, consistent snows, so I needed a very strong yurt. The Winter Stout Alpine Yurt completely fit the bill. A visit to Colorado Yurt Company headquarters in Montrose, Colorado confirmed my decision.

By working together with Colorado Yurt Company and my family, our plans evolved to joining two thirty foot Winter Stout Yurts- allowing for large kitchen, bath, mud and laundry, plus a private master bedroom along with a charming bunk area.

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Colorado Yurt Company designed the connection between the yurts, helped us pitch them, and they have been helpful throughout the process.

Sure, we ended up with an attractive, economical, fully functional and well-engineered structure, but the real reward is the almost indescribable charm and literal joy of what I call the “Yurt experience”. For my money, Yurts are the perfect way to enjoy living in exotic places.

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Colorado Yurt Company Partners with Community Options

“Oh, it’s you again.”

When my friend Daniel says this to me, it’s always accompanied by a huge smile. Sometimes he also calls me “Grandma”, Daniel’s idea of a friendly insult. Then, he’ll ask when I’m going to come watch him bowl.

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Daniel

Robbie tells me how he’s going to start playing basketball on the Special Olympics team, if his knee feels better. But first, he is wrestling, and he shows off the vinyl and plastic version of a championship wrestling belt he has over his shoulder.

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Robbie

These guys are my muscles.

When I am unloading boxes of catalogs, I ask “Can I get some muscles?” The boxes are pretty heavy, and I need assistance getting them into the workshop. Daniel and Robbie are right there to lift them out of my car.

The workshop is the Day Program (Silver Mountain Enterprises), a program of Community Options. Over the years, Silver Mountain’s workshop has done work ranging from sorting feathers for a fly fishing company to cutting shapes for a craft company. The program also places people at different businesses in the community, such as restaurants and retailers for competitive employment.

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Colorado Yurt Company began working with the developmentally-disabled adults at Silver Mountain Enterprises over 20 years ago.

Our first employee from Community Options was Joann. When the shop was in Ridgway, she rode the Greyhound bus from Montrose every day to work at our company. Then her family moved to Denver. A few years later, she saw Dan and Emma at an event with six big tipis. Joann was so excited, she actually spoke for the first time in years.

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These days we send out catalogs and price lists every two weeks or so, and we need them to be collated and put into mailing envelopes. As our demand for catalogs grew beyond what our office staff could handle, we hired Silver Mountain Enterprises to help us out.

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Opal and Jackie put the yurt catalogs together.

For Colorado Yurt Company, it’s been such a great fit. The work is always well done and on time. They deliver the completed envelopes to us, or sometimes they stop by our office for supplies. We appreciate all they do, and we are contributing to their goals.

The muscles are just a bonus.

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Colorado Yurt Company and Mother Earth

Many of our customers first became aware of us by seeing our advertising in Mother Earth News magazine. We’ve had a relationship with the publication for over thirty years. We started with a classified ad for our tipis. We now have full color ads with photos of our tipis, tents and yurts.

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A couple of years ago, the Mother Earth folks started hosting fairs in various parts of the country. These are big gatherings of homestead-minded people, spending a couple of days listening to great speakers and learning about ways to live the Mother Earth lifestyle. Speakers and workshop leaders include livestock experts, sustainability proponents, green living entrepreneurs and others with innovative, informative topics.

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Before the crowds arrived.

This year, we decided to get in on the fun. Colorado Yurt Company sponsored the Mother Earth News Fair in Lawrence, KS in mid-October. We were not sure what to expect at first, but it became apparent very quickly that this is an amazing event.

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After driving the 870 miles across Colorado and Kansas, we arrived in lovely Lawrence. We assembled our deck on Thursday, and Friday we pitched the yurt and tipi in a workshop setting (the day before the fair started). The people who showed up were enthusiastic, helpful and asked intelligent questions of our crew. Friday evening, the publisher of the magazines hosted vendors and sponsors at his farm outside of town with local food and local music.

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Blue skies all weekend.

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Fair participants

The fair ran Saturday and Sunday all day. Knowing the unpredictability of the Midwest weather, we were so happy to see the sun shining both days. People were lined up for blocks to get into the fair each morning, and we had a steady stream of visitors to the yurt and tipi. There was often a line to get into the yurt. It was a great opportunity for us to talk to people who were curious about yurts and tipis.

Lined up to see the yurt.

Lined up to see the yurt.

The staffs of Mother Earth News Fair and publications were helpful and organized. The fair was extremely well attended, and those present were interested in our products and excited to see them up close. We met attendees from as far away as Manitoba who made the journey specifically to attend the fair. The organizers and attendees made us feel like our participation was appreciated.

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Early morning sun on the tipi

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Yurt was in Jayhawk land

It was well worth the 14 hour drive each way. We had a great weekend. Great people, great event- even great weather!

Mother Earth News Fair video

 

 

 

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Winner of Blues & Brews, Osprey Packs and Colorado Yurt Weekend.

This blog was written by the winner of the Blues & Brews, Osprey Packs and  Colorado Yurt Company Giveaway, and originally appeared on the Osprey Packs blog.
 

So there I was perusing Facebook as my day was winding down, and that’s when I stumbled upon Osprey’s Blues and Brews Giveaway. I’ve always wanted to attend Blues and Brews, so entering the giveaway was really a no-brainer; the incredible tent by Colorado Yurt along with the two Osprey packs only sweetened the deal and added to an already incredible prize pack!

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I spent several minutes (okay, maybe a bit longer) daydreaming about the possibility of winning the contest, picturing myself in Telluride Town Park listening to legends like The Black Crowes and Otis Taylor while sipping on (or maybe chugging) tasty glasses of Colorado microbrews. I thought about what colors my new Osprey packs would be – I thought about how wild it would be to even win two new Osprey packs, and I thought about how serene and luxurious it would feel to “glamp” in a tent referred to as “a dwelling for the soul.” Then reality hit me and my fleeting thoughts reminded me that I’ve never won anything, and I likely wouldn’t start now. It was a nice dream though!

It was only once I completely forgot about even entering the contest that I received a message from Osprey saying: “Congratulations! You won the Blues and Brews Giveaway!” Well, holy guacamole, Batman – the odds were definitely in my favor this time. I quickly began making arrangements to pack up and head to Telluride for what would turn out to be an unforgettable weekend thanks to Telluride Blues and Brews, Osprey Packs and Colorado Yurt.

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While I was still riding high on a wave of, “is this really happening?” the mail man assured me it was when he delivered a great big box of new Osprey packs right to my door! My plus one and I packed up our new Porter 46s with all of our overnight glamping essentials and our new Talon 22s with our daily festival supplies and headed out the door for our trip to Telluride!

The tent by Colorado Yurt Company was pitched in a prime camping location in the far corner of the campground behind Telluride Town Park. We could even see the stage from our patio (and yes, you read that right – there was a patio)! In true glamping nature Colorado Yurt Company ensured we had all of the essentials – and then some. It was luxurious to camp in a tent so big you could walk around in it; the tent included a full-size bed with two comforters, a leather chair, a power strip, a heater, a rug and more.

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This year was Telluride Blues and Brews’ 20th anniversary, and they did not disappoint. The music kept people dancing even when Town Park turned into a mud pit and the rain had no end in sight. The grand tasting was incredible; we were able to sample a couple dozen different microbrews in the course of three hours, and let me be the first to tell you they were all unique and delicious. Old man winter even made a debut during the grand tasting as the snow capped peaks surrounding Telluride came out of the fog – it really was the icing on the cake.

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This unforgettable weekend came with a little bit of everything: we ran into some old friends, made some new friends, danced in the rain, got sunburnt, enjoyed killer views complete with rainbows and snow, drank just the right amount of beer and enjoyed the local scene.

Thanks to Osprey Packs, Telluride Blues and Brews and Colorado Yurt Company for a truly unforgettable experience!

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