“So where are we going Jane?” Tyrhone asks, his finger poised over the touchscreen of the GPS.
“Umm… well, I am not completely sure exactly where it is… near the Trinity River somewhere in a tiny town called ‘Big Flat’?”
He looks at me with the sort of expression which says that does not help me.
We have come to rely heavily on our GPS on this road trip, so much so that we have given her a name. It’s ‘Jhepess’ pronounced with a gutteral ‘Jh’ sound. It’s a Jewish name derived from the phonetics of the word ‘GPS’. Of course.
He needs an actual address in order for Jhepess (try it from the back of your throat) to direct us, and so I look up the exact location of the fully outfitted Yurt we had booked for two nights.
With the boyfriend and the GPS now satisfied with the details of our next destination, we say good bye to our Tipi and head north to Trinity County, California.
I kinda like not having much knowledge of a place before I go. A reformed travel-planning addict, I now find it quite a rush to go somewhere on a hunch without knowing much about it. That is how I wanted to travel at the beginning of this journey and it has only taken me two and a half years to get the hang of it.
That being said, things can go either way when you travel like this. You win some, you lose some, much like life in general.
To take things as they come, rather than trying to control outcomes has been the greatest lesson of this journey; one which has brought more peace, acceptance and ultimately, abundance into my life.
We arrive at our destination after a spectacular drive through National Forest. The bright yellow and red fall leaves burst forth from the trees like flames. Set against the backdrop of the smoky greys and greens of the raging Trinity River, it is a visual feast I happily gorge on.
The warm and welcoming owners of the small resort, Don and Julia, take us on a tour of the property, including the cafe they first built on the site. A converted straw barn, the bright yellow building leads out onto a terrace and lush grassed area overlooking the river bank.
“Well this is where I will be for the next two days,” I tell Tyrhone, having no desire to go anywhere else but the blue chairs positioned by the river.
That is, until we meet ‘our yurt’. Any idea that this may be a rustic stay is thrown out as we enter the luxurious dwelling. Complete with a kitchen and dining area, fireplace, claw-footed tub, queen bed and private bathroom, it becomes clear to me that it will be difficult to leave this place.
But leave we do, as Don and Julia have invited us to dine with them in their cafe which is closed for the evening. Don whips up a delicious chicken Marsala with fresh pasta, crisp greens and roasted red peppers.
The colour bursts from the plate with such intensity I wonder if all colours are in fact brighter here in Trinity county.
The couple’s passion for everything they do here is contagious. They built everything from scratch and have worked hard – really hard – to keep this place running to high standard.
From the monstrous oak table milled from a tree on the property to the organic coffee beans Don roasts himself, to the work by local artists which grace the walls, everything here is infused with attention and love for what they are creating.
I cannot help but be inspired by what they have achieved. The couple have worked tirelessly for over fifteen years and their enthusiasm is contagious.
Don has completed a twelve hour day of work (which he does seven days per week), cooked us a delicious dinner and I hear him say, “We are so blessed” more times than I can count.
Their positive energy is a joy to be around. ‘These are people who love what they do,’ I think to myself, becoming more sure than ever that doing the things that light you up from within is the only way to inspire others.
They show just as much interest in our lives as we do theirs. While the details of our respective lives couldn’t be more different, the glue which holds our conversation together is the passion and love for what we do.
Julia asks us, “How long do you think you will do this?” and we both answer, “Forever!” simultaneously.
I attempt to help Julia with the dishes, but instead, she directs me to open some artisanal chocolate, which I do not argue about.
Over our conversation in the chef’s kitchen I learn that the couple have overcome major challenges on their journey together, including family tragedy. I am humbled and touched by her honesty and inspired even further by their strength.
It is common to believe that happy people have it easy, but I am learning that this is not the case. Happy people are usually the ones who work hard for it and often they have overcome great hardship.
Truly happy people pour their love into creating goodness in the world. There is not one path to happiness, except, I think, to do the things which bring you joy which has the ripple effect of bringing joy to others.
If I hadn’t already fully understood that fact, then my time on the Trinity River, my conversations with Don and Julia and the experience of watching the full moon through a skylight of the yurt they built with care and love was all the convincing I needed.
Don and Julia. Visit their magical yurt and cafe in Trinity County, California!
I am so grateful to Glamping Hub for connecting me with yet another inspiring experience. Our itinerary with them has included a stay in a Treehouse in Yosemite national park, a traditional Tipi in the Californian Forest and of course, this magical Yurt. I cannot speak highly enough of their efforts to connect people to unique, privately owned lodgings in beautiful natural environments. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.