Detach Primitive Diaries: Cozy Hobbit Home Insights

by | Mar 2, 2024 | Travel

Have you ever wondered what staying overnight in a cozy Hobbit Home would be like? If you bring Malcolm Gladwell along, be prepared for some unexpected twists. Thanks to him, we went down a rabbit hole into cultural legacies. But before we get into all that, you may wonder what inspired us to book our Hobbit Home retreat. Just how cozy was it really? And how did we entertain ourselves besides listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s books?


Detach Primitive’s Hobbit Home 

Let’s take a closer look at Detach Primitive in Rockford, Michigan—where the magic of simplicity and nature intertwines. Our curiosity about the Hobbit Home experience was sparked when Dianna Stampfler from Promote Michigan invited us to its open house in 2022. We, of course, fell in love and made a promise we’d back. 


After learning Detach Primitive is only a quarter-mile from the White Pine Trail, we thought, “Excellent spot for a cross-country skiing and beer tour basecamp!” This idea has been percolating for a bit, and finally, plans were hatched over Christmas to visit before the Winter Beer Festival. Mother Nature had other ideas this year regarding snow for cross-country skiing. Maybe next year. 


While Detach Primitive’s allure starts with its serene location, the various accommodations offered, including the Hobbit Home, yurts, tipis, and A-Frames, promise a unique experience. 


Hobbit Home Details 

The hike from the parking lot to the Hobbit Home is .5 miles. Detach Primitive provides wagons and sleds to haul all your stuff. (Protip: travel light!) My dad used to say, “I walked 5 miles to school, uphill both ways!” It sort of felt that way, hauling all the stuff we needed for two nights off the grid. BTW, my Dad didn’t walk 5 miles; the one-room schoolhouse was directly across the street. 


Detach Primitive isn’t joking about being off the grid. Their mission is to provide outdoor spaces for their guests to unplug from the internet. There isn’t any wifi, or running water, or indoor plumbing. A short walk from the Hobbit Home or any of the unique camping options are hand pumps with fresh spring water. Basic toilets are also strategically located around the compound. 

We brought headlamps for our outdoor after-dark nocturnal activities. (Probably the only thing we really needed to bring!) After a pint or two at Rockford Brewing and walking from the car to the Hobbit Home, we filmed our version of the movie “The Blair Witch Project.” It didn’t turn out, or I’d share it with you. 

Prepare for a sponge bath, as there are no showers. Chuck channeled his inner Viking spirit and splashed around in cold water outside by the wood pile. My Viking spirit said, “Oh no, girl, you find a way to heat that water!”. 

We didn’t use it, but an outdoor fire ring and picnic table were also available.   

How Cozy is the Hobbit Home? 

Behind the Hobbit Home’s quaint round entrance is a unique space stripped of modern distractions but not of comfort. You find a comfy couch and a queen-sized bed piled high with all the blankets and pillows you’ll need. Plus, a wood stove for heat. The instructions warned the Hobbit Home is well insulated and retains the stove-generated heat. (Another protip, believe them!) 


They provided a camp lamp that did an amazing job, but when we turned it off, the real magic happened– silvery moonlight flooded the Hobbit Home through the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. It was breathtaking.

Sitting by the fire in our cozy Hobbit Home, we listened to the Audible book, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. This will sound corny, but it reminded me of when my kids were little, and I’d read books to them before bed. My oldest would get so mad when I’d say lights out! He’d cry, “No, mom, just one more chapter!” Ah, memories. 

Given we were in a Hobbit Home, it would have made more sense to listen to one of the Lord of the Rings books. But Outliers was the book we picked for the road trip to Grand Rapids, so there you go, plan ahead. 

Rabbit Hole into Cultural Legacies 

We were at the point in the book where Malcolm shared details of a research study conducted in the 1990s at the University of Michigan. Participants in the research study completed a questionnaire and turned it in, but some participants were blocked by an individual who called them an asshole. 

Chuck’s response was immediate and visceral, “I would have wanted to rip that guy apart.” I was like, whatever, that guy was just being a jerk. 

Chuck’s fiery response, though humorous at first glance, soon found its explanation in the broader context of the cultural honor theory, a concept that Malcolm Gladwell eloquently tied back to geographical origins.

Malcolm explained researchers found “that the key variable in how strongly participants reacted to being blocked and called an asshole was geographic in origin. The ones with the strongest reactions were predominantly from the South.” 

OMG Chuck’s reaction was, as they say, priceless. “It’s all my dad’s fault; he was from Virginia!” he all but shouted. 

Oh, how perfectly this fits with the ‘culture of honor’ theory, which suggests in certain societies or regions, people place an exceptionally high value on personal and family honor, often responding aggressively to insults or threats to maintain their social reputation and respect. The Scots and Irish are notorious for it. 

If there was any doubt about Chuck’s Scottish heritage, his reaction just cleared it up. That is not really the point Malcolm was illustrating, but it is close enough. 

Did the cozy atmosphere and lack of distractions provide space for our lively conversation? Yes, yes, it did. Malcolm’s insights lingered for a while, spurring me to reflect on those invisible threads of cultural legacies. I shared these reflections in our newsletter, the Sunday Sip

If Audiobooks aren’t your thing, no worries; there are plenty of ways to spend your time at Detached.  

Not internet! What will you do? 


Hiking is an option. There is a trail on the property through a majestic stand of pines. These beautiful trees make a spectacular backdrop for a hike or snowshoeing if Mother Nature cooperates. Since Detach Primitive is close to the White Pine Trail, you could incorporate Detach as part of a longer multi-day ride along the trail or use it as a base camp as we did.  


Sit and chill. We listened to a book and didn’t dive into the stack of games in the Hobbit Home. Using the time to reconnect with friends and family, write, or just be. Those are the obvious options.

We felt like the world was a million miles away, yet Rockford Brewing was a 3.7-mile walk or bike ride. Or a 4.5-mile hike to Cedar Springs Brewing. You can drive too, but you get the idea it isn’t far. 

Returning Soon 

During our time at Detached Primitive, we recharged our batteries. It is an experience that beckons us to return. To turn off the internet and reconnect with conversation.  



Check out our photo galleries for more photos from our stay in the Hobbit Home at Detached Primitive.  

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