Vol. 4 | Fall 2019

creatures are welcome messengers and may gently remind you in their own subtle way that intentional resting is just as important as constant gathering. Parking options vary depending on season and vehicle but you’ll choose your spot and cut the last thread between you and the fast-paced world. With your pack on your back and skis or boots on your feet you’re off for a handful of miles on a journey that will cleanse your spirit and soothe your nerves with green leafed glory or shimmering snow. The excitement and thrill of the trek ahead will dazzle you on your way to your new home in the woods. Once the hut is in view, brace yourself. Your already splendor-filled day is about to get even better. The quiet, at this point, is stunning. The stillness begins to sink in. Once through the front door you’ll meet the warm, amber beauty of raw wood, the sturdy structure of frame and canvas. This treasured place is thoughtfully designed, easily understood and refreshingly simple. Things you don’t normally have when you arrive at your destination on a backpacking trip: a propane stove, dishes, memory foam mattresses, a fireplace and already gathered and chopped wood, a large beautiful dining table, solar-powered LED lights. These are welcome commodities and helpful additions when you’re looking to abandon stress altogether and just really enjoy the quality of your time in this extraordinary place. For the next couple of days, or maybe longer if you’re a real lucky duck, you can settle into the rhythm of backcountry living. Wake with the sunrise, stoke the fire, sip hot coffee on the porch, read, eat, ski/hike/berrypick/swim/hunt, chop wood, nap, cook, reflect, watch the sunset, stargaze and snuggle into your sleeping bag for a night of restorative sleep. It’s just plain good medicine. At some point, you can’t help but wonder what it took to accomplish the feat of building such a glorified fort way out here. How did the MBY team get all of these supplies out here? How many trips and days were spent planning and gathering, constructing and installing, hammering and sawing? After my own stay, I was curious and eager to hear the story from the people who set this dream in motion. MBY Co-owner, Brad Maddock remembered the construction process taking the

better part of a month and explained that, “Building a 15 person longhouse style yurt in a remote location certainly had its challenges and was a slow process. Thankfully, the Forest Service allowed us to drive supplies directly to the yurt location but only for a very small window of time. Remembering everything we would eventually need to have at the hut was almost impossible. While we did a fairly good job, there were still many items that we ended up packing in on our backs, or pulling behind us on sleds in the winter. Luckily, we have a great group of friends that helped carry everything from memory foam mattresses and folding chairs to coffee mugs and percolators. I think we still owe them for that! Overall, we couldn't be more happy with the outcome of the hut and the location.” So, how did Montana Backcountry Yurts go from wild hair to booming business in a matter of months? Brad explains that he and two buddies, Kyle Perkins and Jennings Anderson, met while attending Carroll College in Helena and discovered they all shared a love of overnight yurt and hut trips. A Yurt Ski in the Southern Swan mountain range just outside of Seeley Lake became a go-to favorite of theirs over the years and when, in 2017, that spot and business was listed for sale they jumped on the opportunity to purchase and develop MBY. “Two years later,” Brad says, “it is still a bit surreal that we own such a fun business and get to share our love of backcountry trips with others.” Brad describes the rare and powerful ways in which the MBY business venture has strengthened not only their friendships and business partnerships but has also impacted the lives of their families, “You learn a lot from being in the backcountry. There are always unknown situations that arise that keep you on your toes, thinking, and problem solving. You learn a lot about yourself, others, and bond with them over your adventures. We are excited to have the Big Belt Hut as a family friendly location in the Summer. Just as friends can bond over backcountry adventures, so can families. We take our families in there to enjoy the beauty of the Montana backcountry and we hope others will too!” They say it takes a village to raise a child and, in that same vein, it has taken a dedicated community to offer these hidden gems among two of Montana’s pristine mountain ridges. The hope is that, by creating and maintaining these structures more people will be inspired to get out of their comfort zones and into the energizing and restorative

2 6 | T H E LO C A L - H E L E N A

www.thelocal-helena.com

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online