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.