Time to Relax: A Weekend at the Gooseberry Yurt,

04.2.2014 | 7:36 am

My April Fools post yesterday actually had a lot of truth in it. One of those truths is that I haven’t had much time to post lately. I’ll get to the the “why” and the implications of that in another post (soon, I swear), but for right now, trust me: I currently have very little spare time. Many days I have to choose between writing and riding. Writing (almost) always loses.

So it’s really great, once in a while, to be able to get away for a few days. To decompress, ride, hang out with some great friends, and to have — for a couple hours — nothing to do

And that’s what the weekend at the Gooseberry Yurt was for me. 

The Riding

I’m not going to go into the riding a ton here. I’ve written about riding Gooseberry before, and the video I posted earlier this week tells the story pretty well. Oh, and I’m going to embed it below again, because I’m shameless.

So to recap, Gooseberry is awesome for riding. But it’s the hanging out I want to talk about.


Until this weekend, I had never been in a yurt. I didn’t even realize what one was. So this is what a yurt looks like from the outside:

IMG 8305

It’s a round, semi-permanent structure. Thick, insulated canvas is built around a wooden frame with a domed roof above it all.

This yurt is just a couple dozen yards away from the edge of the Gooseberry mesa, which means I was able to take this picture literally from out the front door:

IMG 8302

But it’s the inside that makes this particular yurt awesome. Here’s a panorama of the inside, after we had all settled in and spread out:

IMG 8300

OK, it’s hard to tell what’s going on, so here are a few details. There’s a nice wood-burning stove:

IMG 8310

This, combined with the thickly insulated walls, keeps the cold out at night easily.

And the yurt will sleep nine people — not in cots, but in beds. Here’s The Hammer, playing a little Candy Crush (yes, she’s obsessed) early in the morning.

IMG 8309

There’s also a nice gas stove, a bookshelf full of books, and immediate access to all the amazing biking and hiking trails Gooseberry has to offer. All while being in a private, secluded setting.

I’ve been given to understand that the sunsets there are spectacular

IMG 8350

Okay, this one wasn’t. But it’s still not like the view sucked.

My Point

So my Core Team friends Kenny and Brad have spent years getting the land for this yurt bought, the permits secured, and the yurt built. 

Now it’s ready to go. It’s open for business. And it is an incredible place to spend a couple days and nights. Riding (or hiking) during the day, and maybe reading, eating, and talking at night. 

IMG 8353

Or, sure, playing Jenga.

It’s a beautiful, homey, relaxing spot (with a strong LTE phone / data signal, by the way, in case you don’t want to fully unplug). And I cannot wait to go back.

And in the next couple of days, I’m going to unveil a little contest where one or two of you will get to come out to the yurt and hang out / ride / hike / relax / eat with us, all expenses paid.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out the Gooseberry Mesa Yurts for yourself, and reserve your spot. My guess is they’re gonna fill up quickly. 


  1. Comment by Tom in Albany | 04.2.2014 | 8:12 am


  2. Comment by Joe | 04.2.2014 | 8:51 am

    That is some cut-throat Jenga going on there.

  3. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 04.2.2014 | 9:12 am

    oh. man. Squish (yes, I named the Ripley already) and I will be entering. Even if we don’t win… we may show up for the ride anyways.

  4. Comment by Linda Matheson | 04.2.2014 | 10:20 am

    I just got an awesome new bike, so I should win and get experience riding it!

  5. Comment by Papa Bear | 04.2.2014 | 10:22 am

    To kick back to the comments from two posts ago… What is a “dropper”?

  6. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 11:43 am

    @Pappa Bear a cool little trick to let your auto drop your seat for the downhills, and then have it spring back up to it’s set position for the climbs.

  7. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 11:45 am

    @BostonC Rain is gone, Blue sky and clouds Ibis Demo Day at LBS Color me ‘Happy’
    Mt Tam’s a ‘callin.

  8. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 11:48 am

    Oh. And CarlosP, DaveT, ChrisD, SteveB, MattC, and GregC If we don’t win the yurt prize the rental is pretty decent. Think about Gooseberry in the Fall. By then Carlos will have learned to ride the Ripley.

    Yep, for a group that large, you’re looking at less than $20 / day / person. And for a very small fee, I bet Kenny would come ride with you. For a somewhat larger fee, so would I. – FC

  9. Comment by MC | 04.2.2014 | 12:47 pm

    @davidh…Greg doesn’t mt bike much these days (except to commute on it)…he has a tendancy to uhm, lets see how to say this kindly: he has up-close and personal get-togethers with mother-earth far too often. But hey…he’s an absolute MONSTER on the road bike (of which he has up-close and personal get-togethers with mother-earth far too often).

    But I have to give him credit…he’s figured out a way to get an awesome new bike every so often (due to those get-togethers) just by having some mamby-pamby personal injury (due to which he usually MORE than pays for said new bike). Just telling the wife he needs a new bike doesn’t fly…but once he’s hurt and the bike is ruined, it seems to be no big deal (at least from my view 155 miles away).

    That explains why my mt bike is 11 years old, and my road bike is a conglomerate of older parts (the frame is an 09 aluminum, most of the components are 03). I simply need to crash and wreck my bikes. That in a nutshell seems to be the ticket.

    Tho I noticed in your house it works somewhat different.

  10. Comment by GregC | 04.2.2014 | 1:50 pm

    @MC (aka MattC, marsupial Matt, Mattster,and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few): Where do I begin…
    you’ve figured out my diabolical strategy to get new bikes on a regular basis. All it takes is a little (I guess little depends on your perspective) personal suffering. But then all cyclists are fans of personal suffering, there is nothing like hammering up a long mountain climb at 95% of your max heart rate to compare personal suffering. Fortunately my wife tolerates my obsession. I nearly had to buy a new set of wheels recently when I crashed and dented the rear wheel- but fortuantly the LBS was able to do some repair. I was thinking a set of deep dish carbon go fast wheels would look pretty cool on my ride. Ride on!

  11. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 2:01 pm

    OK @Matt,etc.
    Greg doesn’t do ‘wide tires’ we’ll let him drive. White Rim in One Day?

    For all FoF but especially DougB, CarlosP, NicG, SteveB, DaveT, ChrisD, MattC, KennyG (oops I meant Kenny Jones) and of course the Mr and Mrs.

    Check out some footage from Downieville Classic 2013 in California:
    http://vimeo.com/71717210 (the cross country component)
    http://vimeo.com/71797220 (The downhill enduro quotient)

    and consider a get together in 2015

  12. Comment by BigGameD | 04.2.2014 | 2:09 pm

    Booked, I’m there!

  13. Comment by Papa Bear | 04.2.2014 | 2:59 pm

    @davidh-marin,ca: Thanks! That is an awesome seatpost!

  14. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 3:13 pm

    At FC: That Yurt appears smaller on the outside.

    My experience of the yurt is similar. Perhaps the yurt door is a portal, in a very unconventional sense. – FC

  15. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 04.2.2014 | 3:31 pm

    I stayed in a yurt in Yosemite last year which had a full kitchen and bathroom/shower. It was much better than some of the motels I’ve stayed at, and the views were fabulous.
    This Gooseberry Yurt looks like camping heaven for those who feel 4-star is roughing it, like my wife ;-)

    This yurt doesn’t have a full kitchen, but it does have a solar shower, which is REALLY nice after a day of riding in the very sandy Southern UT paradise of Gooseberry. – FC

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 4:04 pm

    Careful UpTheGrade. There may be a Yurt in your back yard talking like that.

    or…no new bikes for you. I would suggest booking a weekend at Indian Springs right now!

  17. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 04.2.2014 | 6:09 pm

    @FC. If I can get a group together I would gladly pay for a guide like Kenny. You on the other hand have a propensity for calamity….though I’d glady pay youi in pie.

  18. Comment by roadrash | 04.2.2014 | 7:55 pm

    Great wrIteup. Checked out Kenny’s site. Wow. It’s officially on my bucket list. Two thoughts: 1) Kenny should include a few of your interior pics. 2) TripAdvisor

  19. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 04.3.2014 | 4:59 am

    @Davidh – Yeah, we need to plan a trip. Maybe spring. While Fatty says he would be expensive to book to ride with us, I bet the smell of grilled brats and homemade pie would be enough to get him there.

    (Or we could just kidnap him. We could make it look like a drug deal gone bad. :) )

  20. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.3.2014 | 8:40 am

    @Doug(way Upstate) I like the ‘intervention’ idea. If you’re willing to shave your head for it I think you’d be seriously convincing!

  21. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 04.3.2014 | 8:44 am

    @Davidh – I’m growing long chin hair. I should be truly menacing soon :)

  22. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 04.3.2014 | 9:00 am

    @Davidh, Doug, DaveT, etc…

    I’m in. Let’s do it. I think I’d prefer next spring, but if I had to, I could make this Fall work.

  23. Comment by Kenny | 04.3.2014 | 9:41 am

    I think a FoF yurt trip should happen!

  24. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.3.2014 | 10:39 am

    @Carlos, Doug, Steve, Yann, Matt etc> Spring sounds good, though a Fall ride could be done just before 25hrs of Frog Hollow (FoF Team Entry) and a wrap-up before Doug and Carlos go into winter hibernation. 2015?

  25. Comment by zacrb | 04.3.2014 | 2:16 pm

    I spent 2 nights at the yurt with my girlfriend, and two other friends. total blast, riding is of course sublime and the views were spectacular. keep that wood stove stoked every couple of hours… at least when we went in early march the nights got damn chilly.

  26. Comment by slo joe | 04.4.2014 | 6:22 am

    Looking forward to the Yurt raffle/contest/give away/Init to Winit/whatever……

    Yurts are awesome……camped in a few at Stevens State Park on the Oregon coast: Best of both worlds.

  27. Comment by Ben | 04.7.2014 | 8:57 pm

    Ahh Jenga, bikes and yurts, what more could you ask for

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