Vol. 4 | Fall 2019

PHOTOS by BRIAN THRELKELD WRITING by CLAIRE LARSON MON TA N A B A C KCO U N T R Y Y U R T S Big Belt Mountains, Montana Let’s say it’s been a long week. The undercurrent of life’s daily stresses and struggles have left you feeling frazzled. You need a cure for the common commotion. A home away from home. You need a clean slate, a chance to fully unplug and remember what matters most. If only there was a beautifully hand built yurt hut tucked in the peaks of the Big Belt mountains where you could bring your bare necessities and fully immerse yourself in the forest for a couple days. Oh wait, there is! The folks at Montana Backcountry Yurts (MBY) have worked their tails off to create two off-grid structures that offer luxury and ease amongst the solitude and stillness of nature’s embrace. So, you decide to go. You book your stay online and grab your pack. You consult the already well thought out list on the MBY website. You gather and organize gear and supplies. You download the recommended map app to your phone so you’ll be able to track your location in real time, no cell service necessary, alleviating any worries about finding the remote location in unfamiliar territory. You pack your favorite backcountry meals, maybe a good book, definitely some good coffee and hop in the car. Time to get the heck out of Dodge. There’s nothing quite like the open road when it comes to shedding a case of the crazies and by the time you crest the hill and glimpse your first view of Canyon Ferry Reservoir, you’ll be breathing a little easier and taking in the subtle colors of sage speckled prairies and deep navy blue water. Highway 284 is about as stress-free as it gets, no white knuckles or snap decision making required. Just wide open views, fresh air and sweet Montana charm as you make your way toward the turn to Duck Creek Pass where the crunch of gravel or snow beneath your tires never felt so right. As workweek drama and pesky deadlines begin to melt away they’re replaced by chipmunks skittering across the road or the swoop and perch of birds in the tall trees. Depending on the season you may even spot a bear and will likely see wildlife residents gathering food or tending to their homes and young with ease and instinct. These little

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