This month, I spent one night in a refurbished grain silo on an 80-acre homestead in Montana.
The home, one of five on the property, was built from what used to be a functional silo on a farm in Idaho.
Modern and simple, the silo was by far the best — and most unique — Airbnb experience I've ever had.
In my time spent traveling, I've called many places home for a night or two.
I've napped in a minuscule sleeping pod in Thailand, on the top bunk of a camper van in Switzerland, and in a tent in a Panamanian rainforest. Each location has been extraordinary, topping the one before it.
But my recent stay near Kalispell, Montana, just a few hours from Helena, where I grew up, felt different.
It felt like coming home.
In many ways, the little Airbnb — a tiny home constructed out of a former grain silo — was a return to my roots: My grandparents owned a farm outside of Kalispell, just 15 minutes from the silos, and I spent many days in my childhood stomping around in the nearby fields and river.
This month, I returned to the area as an adult, nearly 10 years since my last day on my grandparents' farm prior to its sale. The silo offered a stay that felt new and nostalgic at the same time — and though I didn't have a long stay, it was one of the most stunning Airbnb experiences I've ever had.
My silo was one of five Airbnbs — called the Clark Farm Silos — located on the outskirts of Kalispell, Montana.
The Clark Farm Silos are owned by a fourth-generation Montanan and situated on his family's 80-acre farm, property manager Alyssa Helland told me. The silos are just a few miles from Kalispell and Flathead Lake, the largest lake in Montana and a bustling tourist destination.
When they bought the silos from a working farm in Idaho in 2020, they were still filled with grain — so they had to be emptied out, disassembled, then transported and rebuilt on the farm. After about a year of work and $400,000 worth of renovations, the Airbnbs opened in the summer of 2021.
The family had kicked around ideas for other Airbnbs, but settled on silos — or, as they call them, the "big ol soup cans" — for how they seamlessly blend into the landscape, Helland said.
"It's beautiful out here," Helland continued. "The farmland's beautiful. The mountains are beautiful. He didn't want to take away from that."
Each structure looks out over the Montana's striking Swan Mountains.
The view from the front porch was remarkable, and with a massive window on the building's facade, guests could enjoy the view even from indoors. Looking out at the Swan Mountains from the patio tugged at my memory, reminding me of the view from my grandparents' farm — and made me long for more time there.
A few yards from the house was a fire pit, with wood stocked on the patio for burning, but with the weather dropping below freezing, I thought it was too cold — and I was too short on time — to use it.
The silo was split between two floors, with the living space, kitchen, and bathroom on the ground floor.
Between the ground level and the loft — where the bedroom is — the silo had plenty of space. I brought my parents along on this trip, and even at just 430 square feet, the space didn't feel too cramped with three guests.
The kitchen was small but had all the necessities for a one-night stay.
The kitchenette came stocked with all the necessities for a single night: plates and bowls, cups and mugs, a microwave, and a small, vintage-style Frigidaire. There wasn't a dishwasher or a built-in stove top, but there was a portable electric burner that guests could use in a pinch.
Upstairs, there was a large bedroom with a king-sized bed.
Since my parents came with me to this Airbnb, I let them sleep in the upstairs bedroom instead of on the futon downstairs.
The bedroom was chic and modern without sacrificing the silo's cozy, natural aesthetic. From the bed, guests have the best view of the mountains, besides the front porch.
The couch pulled out into a futon, which was where I spent the night.
It wasn't the best sleep of my life, but that's to be expected with these kinds of foldable beds — a futon is a futon, whether it's in a gorgeous home or not.
The silo was decorated with thoughtful, outdoorsy touches.
The owners designed the silo with a minimalist, cozy flair, Helland said. As I walked through the silo, I found that rang true.
Throughout the house, photos from Glacier National Park lined the walls. A Western novel by Louis L'Amour sat on a side table, waiting to be picked up. A Pendleton blanket from the brand's national park collection was draped over the couch.
The bathroom was even stocked with products from Public Goods, a direct-to-consumer company that offers "healthy and high-quality sustainable goods."
The bathroom was small but chic. The shower had the exposed siding of the silo, which I thought was a neat touch.
All the products in the bathroom were made by Public Goods, including the "tree-free" facial tissues.
When I woke up early the next morning, I was thrilled that the hosts had left out some local coffee beans.
According to the Airbnb's listing, local company Maven Coffee roasts the beans exclusively for the Clark Farm Silos.
I ground the beans the night before, so I had them ready to go when I woke up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. The Airbnb offered both a French press and a pour-over coffee pot; I used the latter to make a cup of coffee that I wish I had more time to savor.
Overall, I wished I had more time at the silo — and hope to come back in the summer to hike, sit around the campfire, and sip pour-over coffee on the porch.
My stay at the Clark Farm Silos felt like I was on vacation and in my own home all at once. The cozy little silo was a return to my roots — and I can't wait to go back.
Read the original article on Insider