Glamping in a yurt – it sounds like a concocted line from a Dr. Seuss book, but “glamourous camping” in a “round canvas tent” is an actual trending experience that can be enjoyed right here in our area, off of Runions Creek. About a year ago, a young entrepreneurial couple dreamed up the idea – Kyle Cowger, a quiet, adventurous businessman and rider coach at Two Trails Motorcycle Training, and his sweet wife Sarah, a strong mother of three boys and parttime sign language interpreter, capitalized on their location and talents to build this unusual Airbnb destination.
Turning in the lane, you would find what resembles a miniature beige circus tent pitched on a spacious wooden deck that Sarah and her father built – a circular domed canvas with low sidewalls and a high center that provides a spacious interior lined with everything needed to enjoy the getaway. Sitting in the rocking chairs facing south, your eye is drawn to the beauty of Little North Mountain and you start to notice the rippling water of Runions Creek and the bird songs. On a clear night, it is an unpolluted front row seat to take in the breathtaking galaxy of stars. A discreetly and conveniently placed rustic wooden outbuilding provides a composting toilet and sink during the summer months. A cozy woodstove inside the tent is a fair and attractive trade during the wintertime when the amenities are winterized. The list of offerings is complete with a charcoal grill, picnic table, and fire pit.
So, what kind of fairy dust did it take to create such a magical place? As with most any good thing, it came not sparing blood, sweat, and tears. Sarah shared that in the planning stages, she and Kyle booked a stay at another local yurt to get a feel for glamping and they loved it. She points out that you get to enjoy all the comforts of home packaged with the fun of being in nature. “It was an enjoyable experience and we knew it would be fun to set up our own tent giving it our unique touches!”
Sarah says, “It was far more work than we thought! If we had known then what we have to go through, I am not sure we would have tried, but I’m glad we were ignorant cause I am very happy with what we have now. Even though it is a tent, it is still in many ways like a tiny house and therefore we had to think through the million little details of what it takes to get a home set up and running. We also ran into some major setbacks with the county officials that delayed us by many months. Because our tent did not easily fall into one of their codes it took a lot time to work through that process and make everyone happy.” Patience, perseverance, encouragement, teamwork, and prayer were among the long list of resources behind the scenes.
I asked Sarah what they like most about the haven they have created – “the ambient relaxing feeling we experience when on the deck in the rocking chairs just enjoying and soaking in all of natural’s beauty. In the evening we love seeing the colors in the sky change at sunset and at night the beauty of our clear starry nights. I also love the twinkle and fairy lights we have set in and around the tent. They give a magical feel to the tent. When we don’t have guests, we will often go down to the tent just to sit and relax on the deck.”
Guests to Mountain Creek Haven are predominantly coming from city and suburban areas. They are often amazed by how beautiful the Shenandoah Valley is. Sarah shares that “it has been a great reminder to me of just how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place all the time. I find it very rewarding to be able to offer little haven that allows for guests soak in the beauty of our mountains, reconnect with nature and to be able to get away from the rush and stress of the city, phones and work to just relax.” There are so many opportunities out and about for those staying at the yurt, considering the proximity to national forests and parks, Harrisonburg, and all the Valley has to offer.
Kyle and Sarah have truly created a little piece of paradise. Sarah believes what makes their place special is “the tranquil feeling you have after staying a night. By vacationing in a place that is simple, where most of area is slow pace, and there is no wifi or cell service, you are able to truly relax and come away refreshed.” Here’s another modish word in the world of vacationing – ever heard of a staycation? It denotes taking vacation time in your own space or area, and is a much more affordable way to find respite. Consider booking a weekend at Mountain Creek Haven this year to try something new and different that happens to be in our own backyard! Find them on Airbnb: https://abnb.me/D7836OuOUvb