http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: Before Our RV Had Wheels

Monday, June 17, 2013

Before Our RV Had Wheels

Reading Greg and Jan White’s blog this morning jogged some memories—they are headed to Grand Teton National Park. 

Our friend Terry is a builder—not just an ordinary builder but one with an artist’s eye.  He has been featured in Architectural Digest at least twice, and has won awards for his designs.  In 1997 he started a project in Driggs, Idaho near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  At the time the owners operated the ranch as a boy’s ranch, bringing underprivileged boys from places such as New York, providing these boys room and board in exchange for a morning’s work.  The children performed such chores as weeding gardens and flower beds, helping build fences, etc.  In the afternoon the boys went river rafting or horseback riding.  The owners of the ranch contracted with Terry to build a huge barn, remodel an old log cabin and various other projects.  Terry asked Michael to provide the backhoe—digging footings, foundations and various trenches.  

The ranch was and is now even more so located in the high rent district so to speak.  Rather than spend all the wages we earned on lodging, we, along with the other guys, lived in a tent!  Yep, a tent—a wall tent in which you could stand up—the guys built wooden platforms for the tents so you weren’t sleeping on the ground.  Our wall tent even had a vent in the roof for a stove pipe—it was an extremely cool and wet summer forcing us to find a little fold up, hunting camp type stove—it kept us warm and toasty! 

IMG_20130617_0002_NEW-001We had two Airedales at the time and the white box in front of the tent decking was their dog house.

It wasn’t as bad as it sounds either, we were allowed to eat meals in the dining hall with the boys.  We were also allowed to use the showers and bathrooms.  The tents were mostly for sleeping.  We had a platform for our foam mattress and sleeping bags. 

I spent a lot of my time walking our dogs and helping Michael.  We planted 200 aspen trees and I used the backhoe to dig the holes for the trees while Michael helped Terry with other things such as operating the crane for him.  One day the boys and their adult crew were digging fence post holes with a post hole digger and shovels.  One of the boys came and asked me if I could bring the backhoe down and dig up this rock they could not get out of the ground.  OH, DEAR—all those guys were watching me but low and behold if I didn’t scoop that rock right out of the hole on the first pass!!! 

Our views were to die for—our tent deck overlooked the rugged spires of the Grand Tetons.  The little town of Driggs, ID has a huge July 4th celebration and we really enjoyed the parade.  IMG_20130617_0001_NEW-001 


It was an experience—a positive one!  One last funny story—Michael and I had gone to a restaurant/bar for dinner.  A couple was having dinner and the man was wearing a cowboy hat.  Out of nowhere this guy walks by and knocks the hat from the man’s head.  The next thing we know the two of them are rolling around on the floor trying to kill each other.  The guy who started the fight gets ups and yells, “I am going home to get my gun, I’ll be back!!!!”  Michael and I looked at each other, got up and headed for the door—we decided we didn’t really need to eat in that restaurant!!


  1. Good thing you left. Not a good idea to get tangled up with something like that!

  2. Yikes!! I would be out of there in a flash too!! Rick probably would have whipped out his camera and waited...a little excitement for the blog! :o)) Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!

    1. What was the name of that restaurant again? Sounds like a fun place to eat!

  3. What a fantastic way to spend part of the summer. So glad you mastered the back hoe, I would have been petrified!! Good decision leaving the restaurant before the 'action' started!!!!

  4. Boy, that tent takes me back to my Girl Scout days!! I didn't realize that you had heavy machinery experience! You are one very talented woman:)

    For your comment on our blog...I am having terrible withdrawal as we head east. I think exercising with all that beauty is the hardest part. I truly loved hiking and rock scrambling. I couldn't believe the wonderful shape we were in. Now what!? It must be like your going from Montana to Texas. I am trying to adjust my attitude but it isn't working too well.


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