Springtime at Eureka Yurts

Loving the springtime changes and new bird arrivals at Eureka Yurts & Cabins. We have had some really pretty sunsets lately. Normally I only see the really bright colors in the morning.  We have lots of dogwoods all around the property that are blooming and the trees are greening up quickly. It’s almost as if you can watch the changes happening.

On the wildlife front, the coyotes have been yipping and the Barred Owls and Whip-Poor-Wills have started calling at night. The Eastern Bluebirds are preparing the nest box and the male is fetching dinner! We had a first of the season Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrive yesterday and also a bright blue male Indigo Bunting. The Red-headed Woodpeckers also came back to our property this week. 

We already have a lot of bookings for the rest of April, but there might still be open dates for you during the weekdays. May is also a great time to visit Eureka Springs. We’ll have some jelly for you so hopefully the Baltimore and Orchard Orioles will visit your yurt while you are here! We look forward to sharing our little piece of heaven with you.

Pine View Yurt is Ready!

The end of 2018 we rented to friends and family to help us prepare for this endeavor, and now we are ready for you! We don’t have the hot tub on the back deck yet, but we are starting to rent our 25′ yurt in the woods! The 2nd yurt is in the works and will be ready this Summer.

The yurts sleep 1 or 2 adults comfortably on a king size bed with a New Purple Mattress. There is a well-equipped kitchen so, if you want to, you can stay at your yurt and enjoy the large private deck nestled in the woods. If staying in isn’t your idea of a vacation, then the restaurants, shops, and entertainment of Eureka Springs are minutes away. If you love the outdoors you can bird watch and explore on our property which has 32 acres. For the adventurous, we are only 1 mile from the drop off for the new downhill mountain bike trails around Lake Leatherwood. If being on the water is your thing, we’re just a few miles from the crystal clear waters of Beaver Lake and the White River. We hope you’ll enjoy just being in nature, but if you can’t disconnect we offer free Wifi and a 49″ smart TV so you can watch your Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and Dish shows.

If you book your stay by 2/28/19 you will pay our winter rate of $150 per night, no matter when you stay in 2019. Plus if you stay 4 nights your 5th night is Free. Our regular rate is $170 per night and there is a 2-night minimum stay during the regular season.

We are working on the booking website and hope to have it up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, you can send us the dates you are looking at and we will get back with you on the yurts availability. Message us from our page facebook.com/EurekaYurts or you can email Reservations@EurekaYurts.com.

We look forward to having you!
Blake and Melissa

Raise the ROOF!

Winter has arrived.  And with it comes the inevitable construction delays.

After the wall were erected on Yurt 1, it was time to raise the Roof.  First step was to calculate the height and positioning of the center compression ring.  Once the calculations were complete, checked and rechecked, it was time to construct the stand on which the compression ring would sit.  After it was build, Gator and I had to figure out how to get the stand on top of the scaffolding.  After a couple failed plans and near drops or falls, we finally succeeded. 

Next we had to get the compression ring on top of the 14′ 7″ stand. HUM?  For this we had to bring in some additional muscle.  Much like the stand, several attempts were made using a pulley system to no avail.  So, we decided on trying to build a ramp from the top of the wall to the stand.  After a couple hours, the Eagle had landed.

The next task was to secure the roof rafters from the top of the walls to the compression ring.  Some slight modifications had to be made to the rafters before we could install.  After several hours of tweaking we finally had the first four rafters up.  Then came the rain.

We tarped the yurt with a 6 mil 50 x 50 tarp.  No easy feat on a rocky slope, I will let you know.  We though we had the tarp tight enough to slope the water off the roof, but upon inspection the next day we had huge areas on top of the roof holding massive amounts of water.  The tarp grommets had pulled free on several of the tie-downs.  So, it looked like we had built an awesome rain water collection system.  After several hours I got the water siphoned off the tarp and we reinforced the tie-downs.

 

Then came the snow.  The dogs loved it, the production schedule hated it.  I was pressing to try and get the rafters up before the weather set in so we would work inside on the ceiling panels, but it did not happen.

 

 

 

That is the update.  Next up is getting the rafters up on Yurt 2, building and installing 80 ceiling sections, wiring the interior, plumbing stubbed out, AC lines installed, and finally having the outer ceiling, interior walls and exterior floor spary foamed with insulation, and metal roofing installed.  

 

Wall Panels, Window Panels, Door Panels, Oh My!

During the inclement days the 20 wall panels are being fabricated.  The sides of each panel is cut at a 9 degree angle to account for the curvature of the yurt.  We are doing 4 picture windows (3.5 feet by 6 feet tall) and a double hung window in the bedroom, bathroom and the kitchen.  So we have 7 window panels, 1 door panel and 12 solid panels.

Fixed Window Panel
Fixed Window Panel
Prepping wall panel with outer cedar cut with tongue and V grove underneath.
Prepping wall panel with outer cedar cut with tongue and V grove underneath.
JT adding the western cedar outer sheathing.
JT adding the western cedar outer sheathing.

Notice the bottom cedar sheathing has 2 finish screws on each side.  This is so that after the panels are set, the piece can be removed so flashing can be installed so water will not wick up the panels.

 

Finished Solid Wall Panel
Finished Solid Wall Panel
Window Panel
Window Panel

Getting the Deck Up

Setting the vertical piers and bracing them for the runners.
Setting the vertical piers and bracing them for the runners.

After the pads were poured and cured.  An 8″ double galvanized pin was countersunk into the pad and the bottom of the treated 8×8 pier.  These were plumbed and braced.  Dual 2×12 runners were attached to the piers from front to back.  Then the 2×10 floor joists were attached to the runners on 16 in centers.

 

Transformer set and hot.Meter base wired and set. Ready for service.

Runners on Pad Site 2
Floor Joists on Pad 2
Floor Joists on Pad 1

 

During this time Buck trenched and set the conduit for the electrical and the water to the end of the ridge.  Two more transformer pads were built for the future “family cabin”. 

Meter base wired and set. Ready for service.
Meter base wired and set. Ready for service.

 

Transformer set and hot.
Transformer set and hot. We got the power!

Double Your Fun ….

Finally, work has been done on building 2 new yurts.  These yurts will be 25″ across and be about 475 sq feet of living space.  This time around we decided to buy 2 roof kits as opposed to the complete kit.  By purchasing on the roof kits only, we could get 2 delivered on one truck saving in shipping.  Also, I had to buy 2 roof kits to get the roof metal in any color other than silver.  We received the roof kits in April of this year.  We then had to save up some “scratch” and wait for my helpers Gator and JT to free up from previous commitments.

 

This is pad site 2 before any dirt work had been done.

I had Buck put in a circular drive and pad sites for both pad 1 and pad 2.

This is pad 1 when finished.

Pad Site 2
Pad Site 2

We then had to start laying out the pads for the piers and start the monumental task of drilling the piers.  This lasted about 30 minutes…. Then the call went out to Buck to bring out his hammer to break up the limestone shelf so we could try to auger the holes.

After the the holes were positioned and dug, forms were built, secured and leveled.  This took about 2 weeks.

After the forms were in place we poured 8 yards of concrete.  The truck could reach about 4 or 5 of forms.  After that, it was on JT’s back (literally) to wheelbarrow the concrete from the truck to the forms.  This was a long day!

Pad site 1

Pad Site 2

More Finish Out, How Did We Get All This Stuff ???

Ok, the plan was to quickly weed out the Junk, separate the stuff that we want to leave behind that we think we may need in the future for the next cabins. (Move Out)  Pack and move the rest to the cabin. (Move In)  Keep the stuff in the cabins we will use and store the rest in temporary storage until needed. (Move Out).  Luckily, I have a brilliant woodworker and builder, and now treasured friend in Bob Willmeth.  He has blessed me with very kind offer let me store some of my stuff temporarily at his wood working shop on Holiday Island.

When giving my 45 day notice, it serendipitously landed on March 13th.  Well, that means our official first day of official permanent residency in Arkansas is March 14, (PI day), which is also my birthday…. How cool is that birthday present???

Only one thing stood in the way.  The floors were not even started.  How can we move in and and work on the floors at the same time?

So Bear and I drove the truck and Melissa and the girls followed in her van to make our final move to Eureka Springs.  Then Melissa went back to Celina to finish getting her office ready to work remotely, and I stayed with the dogs putting all hands on deck to finish the floors.

Bear Learning to Drive
Bear Learning to Drive

Here are some pictures from the adventure.

All Paws on Deck
All Paws on Deck

 

Shower Before Grout
Shower Before Grout
Bathroom Floor
Bathroom Floor
Office Floor after grout
Flooring in the rest of the rooms after grout

Wow, when I stand back and take the time to look back in time and relive the steps that have brought me to this place, I have some realizations.

1)  What we do affects other people.  This is a serious responsibility and an awesome privilege.

2) Society and marketing have a bigger effect on you than you think.  If you don’t believe that, move from 2980 sf house to a 937 sf house.

After going through our possessions we ditched the obvious junk and donating a lot of stuff. Then we moved 1.5 loads in an 18 ft box truck, 2 loads in a minivan, and one large 12 ft motorcycle trailer will be on the way soon with our large kitchen table, outdoor furniture and tools.  Oh, and by the way we still have a 20′ x 8′ storage unit in Celina with extra things we still have to go through or use in future cabins.

In order to enlighten myself and gain a new perspective on this, I have subscribed to 3 blogs that have helped me change my perspective.  This is a slow work in progress.  I find the KEY to this is to always move forward.  Look backwards ONLY for knowledge, experience and GOOD memories.  Nothing Else! If you can not move forward, guard with all your strength not to go backwards.  It is better to do nothing and hold your ground than to go backwards.

http://www.theminimalists.com/

http://bemorewithless.com/

And my favorite, a guide to financial freedom:

Home

3) How did a family with a covered wagon make this trip.  With best case scenario, it would take about 18 days to make this trip.  And that would take care of the pickup load. (Maybe)

4) God is faithful to provide what you need, when you need it, if you just rely on him. (Full story to come later)

 

Finish out begins.

With the water and electrical infrastructure in place, and the walls, electrical, and plumbing installed. It is now time to start the interior finish out. We have installed green certified sheet rock. We hand cut all the joints and electrical box openings. We also applied the skip trowel texture entirely by hand. Our choice of paint was the same low VOC paint we used in our last house. Its something we could both agree on.

Make sure you click Read More.

Sunrise
Sunrise
living room from office
living room from office
Bear loves the shower before the water is connected
Bear loves the shower before the water is connected
Paint going on in the bedroom
Paint going on in the bedroom

Bedroom

Water Heater
Water Heater

Office living room

Move in Date March 14

First things first.  I wanted to apologize for the delay in posting updates.  It has been very hectic with the new family member (Bella – “The Puppy”), work, planning, construction, blah, blah, blah…… Anyway, my goal is to have updates at least once a week.  Also, I wanted to thank all the followers and subscribers.  BTW you can register and get update alerts here http://eurekayurts.com/wp-login.php?action=register .

Where to start?  Well there has been a lot of progress over the past 2 months.  Bob, along with his sidekick Luis and two of his friends Vicente and Jose installed the metal roof and skylight.

Yurt Half RoofWith the Yurt completely dried in, I started preparation to move in full time.

Packing For Move
This is a picture of the box truck packed with my “necessities” . Bed, Fridge, Couch and TV….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bear was right at home, glamping.
Bear was right at home, glamping.

The Yurt

 

Well House Timber Framing
Well House Timber Framing
Well House with mini-me pump house.
Well House with mini-me pump house.
Mini Split purchased and Install
Mini Split purchased and Install
LG Compressor
LG Compressor
mini split energy guide
mini split energy guide
Satellite Service Installed
Satellite Service Installed

Mother nature wins
Mother nature wins

With the yurt routinely getting down to the mid 30’s, it was a very challenging environment. But, when the temperature inside dropped in the single digits, I had to take my extraordinarily generous neighbors offer to use his house while his family was out of the country on a mission trip. Wow, what a blessing to have the option!
Interior Spray Foam
Interior Spray Foam

Now that the mini split was installed and the insulation was complete, we finally have heat.
Adding the plumbing and wiring
Adding the plumbing and wiring

Major Milestone Accomplished
Major Milestone Accomplished

At last! a working TOILET!

Ceiling Done

Well, the ceiling is finally done.  This week  has been absolutely UNBEARABLE.  14 degrees and a 7 – 10 MPH wind.  There was no flex in the schedule due to a very small window of temperate weather with no rain.  This was needed to schedule the foam insulation.  They can not work if the temperature is below 40 degrees.  Note to self, build in September, not in November.  In any case we got it done with the help of Jose and Vincente.  The Yurt was tarped Friday 1 hour before the rain and snow began to fall.  Now we wait for Wednesday when the forecast is for 0% chance of rain and a high of 55…..

 

Fully Complete Roof
Fully Complete Roof
Fully Tarped Yurt
Fully Tarped Yurt