Air BnBush

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

I no­ticed my neigh­bour’s brand-new rid­ing mower/trac­tor and when I demon­strated my mower envy, I asked for the de­tails and he was ea­ger to share. He be­gan by brag­ging about a bunch of bor­ing tech­ni­cal de­tails, in­clud­ing how much he spent. When he told me the cost, my mower envy was mulched, although I was grate­ful to have a self-pro­pelled walk be­hind lawn mower. I know my neigh­bour is on a fixed in­come and when I asked if he could af­ford it, he said he has been rent­ing his base­ment out by the night on Air BnB and be­cause we live in a pop­u­lar sum­mer spot, he has been busy. When he told me how much he was get­ting for the use of his empty bed­room, I was shocked...and ex­tremely jeal­ous and in­ter­ested. I asked Mrs. B if we could rent our spare room. She laughed and sug­gested that I may not be able to wear my un­der­wear around the house. She jok­ingly sug­gested I rent out my tree­house. Hmmm…that got my greedy lit­tle mind think­ing; I know there is a mar­ket for un­usual ways to spend the night with na­ture and camp-out. My tree­house, which is an on- go­ing project for my grand­daugh­ter and my­self, is ac­tu­ally quite posh with two lev­els (10’x10’ lower and 12’x12’ up­per), rat­tan fur­ni­ture and mats with a half-size wood burn­ing cook stove. Sur­rounded on three sides by rail­ings made from branches, it is a fa­vorite hang­out spot year-round. In real es­tate terms, it comes with a quaint out­door cook­ing area and cold run­ning wa­ter, which trans­lates into a camp­fire ring and a gar­den hose.

I’m not sure what the mo­ti­va­tion was, but Mrs. B sug­gested that in or­der to get a real idea of the tree­house camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, I should go camp­ing in my back­yard tree­house and get an un­der­stand­ing of the pro’s and con’s. No prob­lem be­cause I am an ex­pe­ri­enced camper. I was ea­ger to get back to spend­ing some time with Mother Na­ture, even if it was only 100 feet from “civ­i­liza­tion” and my flush toi­let. The up­per deck was big enough to set up a mod­est tent with room for some fur­ni­ture. When I found some old camp­ing foamies, I re­al­ized that I had not used them for ages. I did the math and it has been al­most 22 years since the camp­ing foamies and sleep­ing bags have been used. Of course, they both needed re­place­ment. We had moved from tent­ing to RVing and then to a cabin, so our foamies and bags were rel­e­gated to guest sta­tus and less than reg­u­lar use.

Once I got the sleep­ing de­tails worked out, I was ex­cited to have an out­door sleep­over with my­self but I was briefly con­cerned about the “my­self” part of the plan. With­out my old de­parted dog Tim­ber at my side, it was a lonely night, made lone­lier by the cur­rent camp­fire ban. As dark­ness (a pho­bia of mine) be­gan to share my tree­house, I lit a few lanterns and re­laxed enough to even­tu­ally re­tire for the night. Or so I thought!

I’m not para­noid but it seemed that Mother Na­ture was con­spir­ing to make my night in the tree­house a true ex­pe­ri­ence. Squir­rels were drop­ping pine cones on the tight fab­ric roof, which sounded like a drum. Hav­ing my cat, Ella, rub the pole of the tent shook the tent and my nerves, too. Ev­ery lit­tle noise seemed to be am­pli­fied; I was sure there was a Sasquatch raid­ing my gar­den at one point. There were lessons learned. It will be quite a while be­fore the Tree House Camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence will be avail­able on Air BnB…a long while.

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