By: Burton Buer
A few days ago, we were in the beautiful mountains of Heber, Utah. This was our first actual trip with our new RV trailer, and we had tons of fun! Our campsite was in the Wasatch Mountain State Park, and was surrounded with great hiking trails and trees.
One morning, we decided to build a fort using dead branches. We built it “Bear Grylls Style”, putting two thick logs parallel to each other that rested on 4 trees. The picture below isn’t the fort we built, but built basically the same way we built ours. Anywho, after a while everyone but me got tired of building and I spent the whole morning working on it. In the process of constructing this fort and collecting wood, I achieved a big rip in my new shorts, countless scratches, and a hard smack in the face by a stubborn branch I was trying to break. My motivation was a quote that is said often in our family,
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine
So, I kept at it until I was finally satisfied. Once it was finished, I brought a camp chair over and sat and watched Ollie struggle to get down from his perch in a tree. He was playing tag with everyone else, and the way they were playing you had to get to the picnic table without getting tagged. It was very amusing to watch him try to get to the table without getting tagged by Jack, who was waiting at the bottom of the tree.
After a while, we went on a hike and when we came back I had a new idea. I thought it would be so cool if I would be able to get on top of my fort and have a platform to sit on. So, I added in another support and climbed up. It was pretty awesome!…. for 30 seconds. Suddenly, the branch of a tree that I had put a supporting log on broke, and the roof fell through. No wonder it broke, I had forgotten I was putting 140 pounds on a branch that was 1 inch thick….
I free-fell in a swirl of dust and branches, but wasn’t hurt that bad at all! I could have easily gotten my arm stuck in some branches and broken it. I am really grateful I didn’t get more hurt.
My Mom was going over to the showers to help some of my bros out, and Ollie told me to stay there so she could take a picture… So I stayed there for a while with several branches prodding my back and head. When my Mom came back, she took a picture and helped me out, but my bros were extremely depressed that I had broken the fort. They constantly asked me to fix it over the next two days of our trip. But, I never got to re-building it.
Instead, we used the branches for firewood and roasting sticks for marshmallows.
I was impressed and jealous when we came across this teepee on one of our hikes. This was after I broke my fort, as you can tell by my grim face… 😉
“If you spend a lot of time building something, don’t stand on top of it”
– Burton Buer