Two of my brothers (Dane and Chad), a nephew (Chris), a niece (Madison), my dad, three friends, and I went out to B. Mountain to build the platform for my yurt last weekend. I’d told my brothers I thought we could get the platform built AND the yurt fully up inside of three days. They’d told me I was full of shit, and we’d be lucky to even get through the full platform build.

When we arrived Friday around noon, we were faced with the fact that the road into my property had only just seen the snow melt, and the mud underneath was gooey and deep. GP (my dad–it stands for “Great and Powerful”–a self-given name, I assure you) slipped his flatbed, trailer, and tractor into the ditch almost immediately. He had to pull it out by taking the trackhoe off the trailer prematurely in order to use it to pull himself out of the muck.

Dane (brother #1) had ordered all of the lumber and supplies we would need for the project. He was hauling the yurt, the decking materials, his generator, all of the tools necessary to build a round platform, and a 50 gallon barrel of water over to the property in two separate trucks, one he drove himself and one Chad (brother #2) drove. I’d arrived earlier than everyone to set up camp next to the little trailer Matt (brother #3) had helped me repair and renovate last summer and greeted each of my dudes in sequence as they arrived. One by one, when they saw the mud, they said to me, “Another month would have been a good idea.”

“Well, we’re here now!” I said, trying to remain cheerful.

After GP had pulled all of the trucks and trailers onto the property with his tractor, he looked at the spot he’d cleared for the yurt last summer. “You’re gonna put it here?” he asked.

“Yeah, that’s the area you cleared for me,” I replied.

“Nah… this over here is a better spot.” He pointed to a flat area up the hill from my original site.

“Well, why didn’t you say that when you cleared that first space for me?”

“I didn’t think of it. But I’m thinking of it now,” he shrugged.

I surveyed the area he was indicating as a better location for the yurt and I agreed with him, so I said, “Well, then you’d better hop on your tractor and clear this new spot.”

“Yeah,” he uttered, without a smile.

Apparently, Peeps make GP smile.

My dad on his trackhoe ripped out the sage brush to cleared the new location for the yurt, while Dane and Chad unloaded all of their equipment to get ready for the build. Neither of them had ever constructed a round platform before, so we were all working on faith in their considerable skills and the little set of plans the yurt company had sent us.

Our faith was well placed. After pouring concrete pads on Friday directly into the ground to stabilize the structure and letting the concrete dry overnight, they went to work on Saturday and built the frame.

On Saturday morning, Chris (nephew) joined the party. Some old pals of mine–Jack, Eric, and Steph–arrived that afternoon to help where they could (cutting and carrying wood). While GP and I went into town on Saturday to get one of his tires repaired, Chris helped Dane and Chad pound out the basic structure so that the circle could be cut. Dane then created a giant home-made compass out of wood and fastened it to the center point so that the circle cut by the saw would be perfect.

With a few additional support beams in place, finally, they added the drip edge, which eventually the lattice work of the yurt will be attached to.

End result… I have a platform for a yurt!!

I’m over the moon, of course, about the platform, but even better than that… I am filled with gratitude for my family getting behind my dream–and at some cost to them in time and sore muscles.

I’m keeping notes for a full report, but suffice it to say for the moment I’m truly in awe of GP, Chris, and my brothers. As the only girl in the family, my dad never invited me to the work site when I was a kid. He never recruited me to pack panels or learn about the construction trade. I’ve never even watched them work before. Often communicating with very few syllables (“Like it?” “Yep.” “Hit me.” “Done.”), they delegated tasks, collaborated in measuring, cutting, and nailing wood, and affirmed the precision of their placements for support beams. I have a newly discovered respect and appreciation for the home I’m sitting in now as I type these words AND for all of the people who helped build it. Also, these brothers, my juniors and the people I’ve bossed around for years, are my new heroes.

Stay tuned for the raising of the yurt.

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