By Melissa Wynn

It used to be that a night or two away came with just a few options, hotel, campground or the guest room of a loved one. Today lodging options are as varied as the folks in search of them and those with the imagination to create unique options. From old airplanes and garden sheds to tree houses and house boats, a place to crash for a few days is evolving into an adventurous experience.

On a recent road trip with my trusty companions Molly and Lorraine, I enjoyed an overnight stay creekside near Eddy Mountain in an eclectic and cozy yurt. A yurt is a circular dwelling, made with accordion style, lattice work walls. The conical roof sports a round skylight perfect for stargazing from the toasty warm indoors. The cover creates well-insulated walls and is made from waterproof material. Originally used as portable homes for nomadic Mongol and Turkish people of central Asia, the yurt has come to America as temporary, rental and even permanent housing. Our 30 foot yurt was a complete and cozy home with a full kitchen and bath along with a huge deck perfect for lounging and enjoying the forest and the bubbling sounds of Eddy Creek just steps away.

Owners Jean and Bill Anderson originally bought the yurt in 2009 when they moved from the Bay Area to their 40 acre little paradise just 6 miles from Interstate Highway 5 near Weed California. During the two years it took to build their current home this adventurous couple lived full time in the yurt and occasionally still hang out there just for fun. After their home was complete, the Anderson’s listed the yurt on the VRBO website for vacationers like us to rent.

We arrived on a windy fall afternoon and were greeted by Jean and Bill with a smile. Their friendly Labradoodle, Bear, followed along as we took a tour of grounds and learned our way around. Being pet owners themselves, the Andersons happily accept pets but do charge a $25 fee for your four-legged friends. No wifi or tv gave us a great chance to soak in the natural beauty of the area and have a nice visit with our hosts. We took an hour or so to just relax and settle in before heading off to Dunsmuir (a twenty minute drive) for dinner at Yaks (also featured in this edition) with our new found friends.

The sun was setting as we found our way back to the yurt and views of Mount Shasta changing color along with the sunset filled our evening with breathtaking scenery you can’t find anywhere else on the globe. We put on the teapot for a cup of Sleepytime tea that I found in the kitchen along with all the other basic condiments supplied by our thoughtful hosts. Although there is no cable or satellite service our yurt had a dvd player and several movies to choose from. We plugged in a movie and sipped our tea in front of a crackling fire that Bill had laid for us in the wood stove prior to our arrival. The bookcase offered several choices but I opted to read an article or two in one of the local magazines before drifting off to sleep on my comfy feather pillow. The yurt can sleep 6 comfortably boasting a queen bed, a set of bunk beds and a standard sofa sleeper all with soft blankets and plenty of  pillows.

The Mount Shasta area is dotted with stunning lakes, waterfalls and beautiful hikes for every skill level. Directions to all of them are carefully organized and printed in a binder for guests to enjoy.  Hikers of the famous Pacific Crest Trail will find that Eddy Creek Road connects just a hop, skip and a jump from the cozy yurt.

These days your next getaway can be whatever you want it to be if you just look in the right places. Surf the net and do your homework. Find the place that makes you say “Oh Ya, This Is It.” If that place is a creekside yurt, search VRBO for Creekside Yurt at Mt. Shasta, book your stay, go meet the Andersons and tell them MVL sent you. Your adventure awaits.