Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tepee or Para Sail

It came time to put the tepee back up. I had a couple of friends available to help me. The sun was shining but the wind was blowing hard.
We got the 24' long poles out of the bar loft. It was harder than putting them up there. I guess the whole gravity thing was working too well. I was on the bottom trying to lower theses long poles really heavy on the butt end and not able to get far enough up to really balance them. Times 24 poles.
Three of us started to measure where the tripod went and surprised at how much we had forgotten abut doing it last year. After much head scratching in the wind we got the tripod tied together and stood up. We stepped back to ponder the next move and the tripod comes crashing down.
We remeasure and try it again. The rope slips down before we get it raised up.
We use a different kind of rope and try it one more time. This time it holds and I hold onto it until some opposing poles can be laid in and the rope wound around. The rest of the poles go in quickly and the frame feels stable.
I spread the tepee out on the ground and lay the last pole on top to tie it on. Tonka lays on the tepee and I can't get it positioned right. I tell him to move. He does. A gust of wind blows and the huge canvas tepee lifts up and moves. Do it all over again this time humans hold it in place until I get it tied on and start to bundle it and tie it all the way down the riser pole.
The wind continues to howl.

Just in time three more people show up to help. I knew we were going to need them.
We lift the riser pole into place. We start to unwind the rope tying the tepee and wrap it around the side the wind is coming from. A gust catches it and we all feel the power of the wind as it pushes the canvas and we watch as half of the poles slide towards the middle. I hang on to the riser pole and the other half of the canvas. If the unfurls I think the whole thing will be airborne.
Stakes go in quickly, the poles get moved back into place and we wrap the other side around. I have to lace the front backwards starting at the bottom, from the inside on a ladder as several people held the edges together to keep in all from moving. As soon as the lacing is done the wind blows smoothly around and the whole tepee feels very stable. We stake the rest of it down.

I know how stable from living in it last year on this very windy mountain. But putting it up in the wind....
we won't be doing that again.

*** These photos are from last year. We were so focused on not getting hurt no photos were taken. It too bad they would have been interesting. :)


  1. Whew, sounds like an ordeal! Makes me think of all the generations that had to erect such a thing in centuries past, in all kinds of weather, with toddlers and babies hanging on them and whatever else, heh. Can't you just imagine the ancient cursing, lol? Pretty neat though, your tepee -- I'm sure it makes a fabulous little retreat...!

  2. Wonderful as always!
    Diana I have passed the Happy 101 Award to you. Please visit my blog when you can to check out the rules.

  3. Patience, I think about how much heavier the tepee must have been made from hides instead of canvas.

  4. Martine, Oh that is so wonderful! Thanks. :)