Tag Archives: Idaho City yurts

January 3, 2017 Ski touring the Elkhorn Loop, Boise National Forest, Idaho.

New Year Resolution: Getting Unplugged

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[Note: This story was first posted Dec. 28, 2015.]

By Michael Lanza

This winter, for the ninth year in a row, my family will do something we have eagerly anticipated annually for almost as long as my children’s memory reaches backward. It will involve skis, backpacks, and spending four days at a yurt tucked away in snow-covered mountains a few miles from the nearest, very lonely, winding, two-lane road. But the details matter only inasmuch as they steer us toward our ultimate goal: We really go there to get completely unplugged.

We do that mostly for ourselves, of course. But I think we need this notion of disconnecting to catch on more widely, to save us all from ourselves. Continue reading →

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

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

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

Key Ingredient to Family Yurt Trip: What’s Missing

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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

Snowstorms, Skinny Skis, Yurts, and a Family Tradition

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

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 →

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Grand Canyon Hiker