“Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you” [Wally Amos]
Is it just another tent? It is not. It is nostalgia to me, it is the closest, one of them anyhow, form of being with Nature and still have some protection and comfort, waterproofing and heat being added ingredients. It has kept me busy for a bit, the initial set up first with much leveling of the ground and removing all resemblance of rocks, anything that could be felt through the sole of my moccasins I always wear when not riding. It is going to stay up for a few months here while we travel the areas, it would have been however much easier to read the directions a bit more carefully.
I remember the day because I was going to have some help for a couple hours. Paid help, yes, to drive the big steel stakes at least half way into this solid rocky ground. I had even stopped by the day before to concur about the time. I am not going to say “of course” (even though I would like too…) but “my help” never showed up. Having never thought of that particular scenario, I had already set up the frame and the tent itself on part of the A frame. I did see him a couple days later, “I overslept… sorry…”, I smiled, because I like to smile when I really want to not smile, if that makes any sense. Better for the blood pressure. So first I put down a large tarp, bigger a bit than the tent, then came the floor which edges up which will prevent any water from coming in, same with the skirt around the tent itself when draped on the outside underneath the floor.
An easy set up it was for me, and yet, there is already a mistake in the pictures above. As the side poles will go up, I will not be able to reach the peak and tie in the two upper lines. Same with the fly. So, as I always say “hello Ara…”, smiling again, I started over and sure was glad that I did not forget the wood stove pipe which comes in 5 pieces, these where the top 3. The makers of the tent “Montana Canvas” where only a few miles from Manhattan, MT, where we were camping a while back, in Belgrade to be exact. More helpful I could not ask, they also thought as I did that such a tent would be a great addition to “The Oasis”, a sample of their work a couple thousands of miles away.
I was fortunate that the walls and the fly are made of their new material called “Relite”, a much lighter load as if being all canvas I would have never been able to do this. The skies were clearing up, the wind had picked up, and I realized that I better start my “stress test”, a free one, driving those stakes into the ground with my 4lb big hammer purchased for that purpose. I obviously passed the test remembering my Doctor always saying I needed to push myself a bit, at the same time memorizing my neighbor’s phone number, just in case as last year on November First. It was not a pretty day.
I had the good presence of mind to use a flat piece of wood to tap in the first two wood stove pipes, such hindsight unusual for me, as “little green giant” wheeled it all in. “Little green giant” was my savior. This would have not happened without him, it is my best investment yet, that little green cart with four real tires and a drop tailgate, featured in the first photo! The tent was carried by him and so was the table, upside down, everything from rocks to wood. I don’t have a name yet for the tent, “White Elephant” sits next to it, so does “Old Faithful”… I am sure it will come to me one of these days.
It is a tent! Heat with hot water, power from solar and 20th Century wi-fi. The Montana Canvas people have been very generous with us as it also came with more than enough hanging pockets, hooks, paper towel holders… The table was donated by a reader near by, a couple old chairs, my Kermit chair and cot. Add a couple Mexican woven washable carpets and I could not help buying the little hanging birds and turtles. Great view… If I was camping somewhere for even two weeks and could carry a couple hundred pounds, considering it is about half a day to set it up (after knowing what you are doing…) I would. Why not have the room one needs.
The room with a definite view and yet after a couple tires changes and some fresh oil we are now ready for some new destinations. It is always the case, perfectly knowing that just a few hours away I will miss this space. I am curious to find out about the wood stove, how much it is actually going to heat the tent when it drops to the upper 20’s as last year. With my zero degree sleeping pad and bag maybe it should not be too bad. I have been already told about this idea being a silly one, one that will blow away by the winds so common here. It has already sustained 30mph ones, when the more powerful ones happen, we will not be here anyhow and the tent will be folded away in that big green monster… the shipping container, the one long enough to have a bowling lane!
Dinner! Not that much fun sometimes to cook for one, but the challenges of ingredients, lack of them, makes it interesting as I came up with this recipe a couple days ago.
2 Boneless skinless breasts of Chicken
1 C Breadcrumbs or Panko
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs Dijon Mustard
6 Tbs Orange Marmalade
4 Cloves chopped Garlic
1 chopped Green Onion
Chopped red Pepper
I cooked the Chicken in the pan in a mixture of about half butter and vegetable oil after dipping it in bread crumbs. I use butter and oil to try to keep it light and healthy (!!!). Once the Chicken was done to a nice crispy brown, I removed it and place it in a dish on paper towels to absorb the… fat. In the same pan I sauteed the garlic and on added the rest of the ingredients heating till the sugar of the marmalade caramelized and thickened. Dropped it on the Chicken, added some chopped red peppers and green onions for color, and that was it. I will be making another sauce soon for Pork with Blueberry preserve.
Till next time, you be well.
Ara & Spirit