I have had the privilege of reviewing a new book entitled The Map of Enough by Molly Caro May. I really enjoyed this book and wanted to share it with you.
Molly grew up in a nomadic family, moving from one foreign country to another. She developed her identity from this nomadic life and in her mind never wanted to settle down.
However, things changed when she was nearing the age of 30. In 2009, Molly and her fiancé Chris had the opportunity to move onto 107 acres in the Gallatin Valley in Montana. Initially living in a cabin her folks owned they both dreamed of building a Mongolian yurt and staying on the land for a year and than taking their home and moving on.
Thinking it would only take a couple of months to build the yurt the couple immediately set forth to transforming an old garage into a wood shop and then started collecting and constructing the materials. As Molly soon found out construction takes much longer than planned. The actual time to build ended up being around five months instead of two.
They took on some real challenges as the yurt site is far up on a hill and they had to move all the materials up by hand, including a very heavy wood stove. Getting help from their neighbors and new friends they accomplished these tasks and move on to others.
Living among the tall grass, deep woods, and wild animals opened up new challenges for Molly and she started feeling a real connection to the land and place. Her book shares this experience and the changes she goes through as she adjusts to her new surroundings. Once the yurt is completed and assembled she heads off to New York in a snow storm to complete the plans for the wedding. Molly soon finds out how anxious she is to get back to her simpler life in the yurt.
When Molly returns she turns to exploring the 107 acres and getting even more acquainted with her surroundings. She spends her days exploring and writing and figuring out how they can afford to extend their stay past the first year. She puts in a garden. Chris is developing his woodworking business and she is writing.
Join Molly on her journey and transformation as she embraces the land and living in one place.
Five years later Molly and Chris still live in their yurt in Montana. They now have a beautiful daughter and are hoping to stay on “the land” many more years.
While the film version of the Shire sits in New Zealand, a real accessible version of the home of the Hobbits can be found in Montana. However, if you come to stay in this small house you’ll have to share it with fairies, trolls and dwarfs. The Shire of Montana includes not only a 1,000 square foot house built into a hillside, but also a Troll House and several fairy homes built into tree stumps.
This whimsical 20-acre property owned by Steven and Chris Michael is located near Trout Creek, Montana and is available as a private rental for lovers of Tolkien and the outdoors. The property contains a monolithic dome Hobbit house built into a hillside, a troll house in an old stump and various fairy homes dotted throughout the garden. The main house is 1,000 square feet and contains modern granite counter tops and etched glass windows, two bedrooms, a cozy kitchen, rustic woodwork and even the One Ring hanging from the ceiling.
When the home was being constructed, the owners found a 700 year old cedar stump with a roof and door in a nearby town and decided to make it into a home for trolls. Steven said that once the word got out about the Troll House, other residents of Middle Earth decided to move onto the property which includes the Elven Village and homes for dwarfs and fairies. Various regional artists worked on making the property a haven for these otherworldly creatures which includes waterfalls and creeks, murals, bird houses, a wishing well, a troll bridge and mine as well as a 2,000 lb. carved stone bench made from a rock from Bali that is rumored to have once been a troll.
Guests can stay in the Shire of Montana from spring to fall for $245 a night.
Photos by the Shire of Montana
This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape is another Montana Mobile Cabin. Destination to be “Cabin in the Woods.”
Here it is ready to load and go down the road. Watch for us next week on the highways and byways of Western Montana.
On the road again!
Over the river & through the woods…
Glad to have this one in the record books. Ole Man Winter tried to keep us down, but we prevailed!
Happy cabin in the woods!
This cabin was ordered as pictured; no kitchen, no bath; it is what we call a dry cabin. The owner is planning on using it as a bunkhouse with a stove & a couple of bunkbeds. We don’t always get the pleasure of seeing the cabin furnished.
Today’s Tiny House in a Landscape is from Fred Beal in Helena, Montana. My wife and I spent our first two years of our marriage in Helena and it is one of my favorite places.
Fred is an expert with the Log Dovetail technique in building log cabins. He has built this little 11 foot by 15 foot log cabin and is currently living in it full time.
Fred has designed a jig that makes it easier to cut the dovetails in the logs, thus making it more accurate and an easier process. You can learn more about the technique by going here. http://logdovetailjig.com/
Following are some photos of his cabin and a short video of the building process. Enjoy!