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August 11, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter REGIONAL Wedne., day, July 14, 2010 1B One-room living in a yurt built for two Bill Gomez and Pam Grimshaw love their yurt, a circular home they erected while waiting for The inside of the yurt is surprisingly large, and one-room living is mostly great, unless one per- construction of their retirement home. son wants to sleep and the other wants towatch television or something. Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com Bill Gomez and Pam Grimshaw worked hard for their retirement to Indian Valley, and they are really having a great time living in a yurt while their home is being built. Bill is not exactly retired yet, but when the chance came three years ago for him to work locally as a physician's assistant and clinic manager, near where they dreamed of retiring-- they decided to live on opposit~ en~ of the state for just a little while, until Pare retired from nursing and midwifery last year. From Tujunga, near Los Angeles, they had both vaca- tioned in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions before they were a couple. For her it was the Drakes- bad area she fell in love with, and for him it was Shasta area near McCloud. They came back together about five years ago and decided this was where they wanted to retire to and have a hobby farm. So they subscribed to the local newspaper, where Gomez saw a 2006 help wanted ad that made their move possible much faster than either had anticipated. They sold their home, and Gomez lived between Chester and Indian Valley until im- provements could be made on their new property at the farthest reach of the North Arm of the valley. It was Grimshaw who had the idea of the yurt for a temporary home for the two of them to live in while their retirement home was constructed. She'd been saving a brochure about yurts since 1991, only 10 years before she and Gomez married. Prices had gone up only slightly over the past 20 years, she said. Gomez had a little eyebrow twitch at that statement, so maybe the word slightly has two different meanings. They eventually spent about $18,000 for the yurt, which included several upgrades and add-ons to the basic model, which actually starts out at about $13,000 for a 30-foot model with one window and one door. The walls are a little more than one inch thick, with insulation that looks like bubble wrap encased in Mylar. It goes up quickly, in about four days for the basic struc- ture, then about three weeks more for the added plumbing, fixtures, floor and appliances. Their contractor, Chris Meyers, loaned them an 18- foot trailer to go pick up their Another requirement of the local building department was the center support, which the manufacturers were surprised about having to provide, but that Grimshaw is happy to have after liv- ing through a couple late-winter storms. Gomez still scratches his head over it though. "The snow just slides right off," he insisted. yurt in Cottage Grove, Ore., with about one month between the order and ready- to-pick-up dates. The company site features several yurt models for prospective customers to look at, and ordering process with a salesperson can easily be an all-day adventure Grimshaw said with a smile at the memory. On their way home with it, people asked them ~ it was a space ship, she said, because of the tinted dome cap that sat up on top of the 3,000- pound load. The yurt lifestyle is a unlque one she said, with basically one-room living. She feels like she has to keep things picked up and be dressed early, though, in case of visitors. It's not like one can hide an unmade bed by just closing the door. And visitors are many, especially those who stop by casually just to see some- thing so unusual to the area. Grimshaw has furnished the yurt mainly from Ikea of West Sacramento, where almost everything comes in flat pack, ready to assemble. She especially likes the store's easy kitchens and cabinets, which is what she had in Tujunga, as well. The only real drawback to one-room living that she can think of is when one of them wants to stay up late and the other doesn't. A decorative accordion screen takes care of that problem, though, where it screens the sleeping area from the main living area. Their yurt will be a guest house, as soon as their retire- ment home is finished. That home will not exactly be in a traditional style either, with a huge expanse of windows with views of the valley and the surrounding mountain peaks almost uninterrupted-- another curiosity for folks to stop by and see. Visitors are welcome Gomez and Grimshaw said, except for whatever it was came in the night and got their chickens -- maybe it was the bear that left tracks around the coop. The hot wire that will be installed to protect the new clutch will rudely shock whatever it was. There is one dividing wall in the yurt, which holds up the kitchen and a closet on one side and a full bathroom on the other. For more photos, see page 12B. Photos by Alicia Knadler Building a yurt home looks simple in this 56-page instruction and maintenance booklet, and it basically is, except for a few glitches in the permitting process and the ensuing add-ons. The yurt heats quickly with a small woodstove or with the sun, when it breaks through the cool shade of trees. ll/l/illlllllllmllll/ll [ll ! i alllllli|tllqllllill!]]l I I 11i il[ll ~ lllili lll ...... - ....