28 November 2016

as in, yurtsgiving (2013 edition)

yurtsgiving, as in thanksgiving that happens in and/or around and/or near a yurt.

three years ago, when we were still living out in portland, the madison family said, hey! let's camp! let's camp for thanksgiving! and we said hey! let's camp! let's do it! though we feel we should tell you something. we've never camped before.

which is maybe the first time we'd admitted it out loud, while living in the pacific northwest. because, and maybe this will come as a surprise to some of you, this is not something you openly admit when you live in the great pacific northwest. you do not openly admit to not liking coffee. and you absolutely do not openly admit to never having camped. you just don't. believe me.

and it's not that we didn't want to camp. we just didn't know how. neither of us had ever gone as kids, neither of us had grown up camping. we didn't have any of the stuff. and you need the stuff. you can't just show up and camp, you need the stuff. furthermore, you need to know how to do the stuff. and we certainly did not know how to do any of the stuff. and so this is how we went almost seven years living out in the great pacific northwest (the unofficial camping capitol of the free world) without ever having camped.

clearly, yurtsgiving changed all that. for the record, I do realize yurt camping is maybe not the same as, ahem, real camping. though I'm here to tell you it sure as hell is when you've never been camping before. as the people say, you've got to start somewhere and that little yurt nestled in a forest along the oregon coast was our gateway drug. that little yurt in nehalem bay is where we fell in love with bacon cooked over an open fire and crazy camp raccoon shenanigans and midnight stargazing and campsite turntables and picnic table thanksgiving dinners and, well, camping.

twas our last thanksgiving while living in portland, twas a heckuva way to go out.


  1. This is so special...especially as we just chose to do the same thing this past Thanksgiving in the Yurt Village at Kayak Point here in Washington state. We had a ball even though it rained and rained...and rained! Love your gorgeous photos!

  2. one of the best thanksgivings i have ever had. best i've had since i've been in the pacific northwest. love you guys to death.

  3. This reminded me of a time Matt and I went camping. We'd both been camping before, I was even a girl scout for many years. But we hadn't gone for a loooong time. We went camping with friends. We thought we brought the stuff, but then when we got there we realized that we had indeed not brought ALL THE STUFF, when we had to use our cell phones (pre-flashlight mode/app days) to guide our ways from our campsite to the porta poties and back in the dead of night. We had no food, let alone, firewood, when our friends and neighbors were cooking bacon and pancakes over their campsite. Now we go every summer and we keep a google doc spreadsheet for ALL the stuff and everyone puts their names next to the items they are bringing. It can get a little overboard. I think of my best friend's family camping trips when we were kids, and how they had a pop up camper that they parked 5 feet away from the neighboring RV. It had a stove, mattresses, a tv, and when they got to their site, they put out the decorations (lawn ornaments and string of decorative lights). I thought "this is not camping, this is just a change of scenery".