In 2002, my wife and I bought a lovely lot on Burntside Lake. We lived in Ely only 11 miles away, so we thought we would build a modest cabin. However, the cabin’s plans soon grew to a substantial investment — more than we could afford.

One of our friends had just stayed in a yurt, and he encouraged us to consider it as an option. After a bit of online research, we connected with Rainier Outdoor in Washington state, which makes yurts. The company sent a package of materials to us with excellent instructions. We then built a platform to put it on.

The insulated yurt was 27 feet in diameter, with six windows and a plexiglass dome in the roof. The roof system had 44 perfectly straight and open Douglas fir rafters. It took us — an inexperienced group of eight — only a day and a half to put up the structure. We decided to forgo electricity and running water. (The design, from Mongolian culture, is 2,000 years old.) An outhouse works fine, and Burntside water is terrific. The yurt’s deck took several weeks to build.

The yurt still is with us and needs only minor maintenance. It has a large wood stove, so we use it during all seasons. We entertain there often, and many groups use it for meetings. Relatives use it for a cheap weekend vacation. Everyone loves the round space. Yurts are a great choice for an extra bunkhouse or a reasonable cabin. We are very happy with our choice. Chuck Wick, Maple Grove