Tag Archives: family yurt trips

January 26, 2015 Backcountry skiing near Banner Ridge yurt, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

Growing Up On Skis: Two Families, Yurts, and Many Memories

In Family Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

As we slide uphill on skis, each of us carrying a full backpack, the three kids—two of them 14, one almost 12, but an advanced apprentice teenager—trail at least a tenth of a mile behind. If we parents slow down to let them catch up, they stop and tell us, “You can keep going.” So we do. Their audible, constant chatter and occasional screeches inform us that they remain within earshot—close enough that we’ll know if they need us, distant enough to not feel like we’re crowding their space with our oppressive adultness.

Yes, it has now come to this: They don’t want to ski with us anymore. Continue reading →

February 27, 2014 Cross-country skiing the Beaver Trail, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

5 Kids, 4 Days, No Wifi, Only Trees, Snow, and a Yurt

In Family Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments

By Michael Lanza

We pause at the top of a steep hill on the Elkhorn Loop Trail in Idaho’s Boise National Forest and contemplate where to go from here. My 17-year-old niece, Anna Garofalo, and I have cross-country skied for two hours to reach this quiet spot in the ponderosa pine forest, miles from the nearest road—and more than 2,000 miles and an experiential chasm from the only place she has ever known as home.

I lay out the choices to Anna: turn around and ski two more hours back to the Skyline yurt, where we’re spending three nights with my wife and kids and another family; or explore a trail I’ve never actually skied in the many trips I’ve made to this system of ski trails and yurts north of Idaho City. I’ve never skied it because, unlike most of the trails out here, it’s not groomed, and it lies out on the farthest perimeter of the trail system. Going that way would take us at least three more hours to reach the yurt. But I’ve long wanted to ski it, if for no other reason than its name: the Wayout Trail.

“Let’s do it,” Anna tells me. “After all, when am I going to be back here again?” God, I love that attitude. But I suppose that’s how you would look at something you’ve been literally waiting almost your entire life to do. Continue reading →

February 5, 2013 Skiing to Skyline yurt, Boise National Forest, Idaho

Key Ingredient to Family Yurt Trip: What’s Missing

In Family Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

The sun beats down warmly on us from a sky as fiercely and as flawlessly blue as a deep mountain lake. While we four adults ready our backpacks, the four kids already have their packs loaded and cross-country skis on and are dashing back and forth across the snow-covered parking lot—sled dogs straining at their harnesses to go. It’s the body language of enthusiasm and high expectations, and it infects us all like an aggressive virus. Continue reading →

January 12, 2011 Bois8-56 copy

Snowstorms, Skinny Skis, Yurts, and a Family Tradition

In Family Adventures, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

By Michael Lanza

Fat, perfect snowflakes pour down in a silent, frozen torrent from a blank white page of sky, as if the mountains are inside a Christmas snow globe that someone just shook vigorously. Powder lays several feet deep on the ground and smothers the tall ponderosa pines, looking like dozens of clean, white mittens on their boughs. No wind stirs the still air, and it’s not too cold. The quiet could drown out any negative thoughts.

It’s the kind of day that can make you wish winter lasted all year. Continue reading →