Tree House Time


This is Will and Ben’s tree house up by the trolley run at the top of the north home field. The view is spectacular. It has been an ongoing Sunday project over the years starting with the platform one year. Another year we did the little house. Then we roofed it and glazed the windows. It is a full family project that we all work on together for the more difficult parts. Most of the work on the tree house happens in the fall of the year with the rest of the months spent enjoying the labors.

The ladder going up to the tree house is an old fire escape ladder I pulled from a trash pile many years before either Ben or Will were born. I knew that someday I would have a good use for it and it was too nice to see thrown away. Admittedly it was rusty but all the metal was straight and the welds sound. Will and Ben spent many hours hand sanding the entire thing down to clean metal. They primed it and painted it in mottled colors to help it blend with the trees. Their labors paid off and now years later the ladder remains in great shape, servicing a new high house access.

The lumber for the treehouse were scraps and left overs from various projects. The ends and bits along with salvaged boards from demolished structures. The kids de-nailed it all and sanded off the rough spots giving new life to old wood. I provided only a few major support joists that the decking sits on.

The walls of the house portion are end pieces of ship lap barn board siding. Very fancy. I was a little worried about the air catching it but in the winter when we get our strong winds they come from the north west. However the back side of the structure faces the wind and is protected by the trees.

Will purchased two pieces of plexi-glass cut to order to fit the window openings giving a view of the road and another view of Sugar Mountain across the length of the north field. This fall we finally put in the road side window. That makes the house more comfortable in the winter winds.

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So why would anyone be up on a mountain in a tree house in the winter winds? Why to shoot snowballs, of course! Will built a massive bungie cord slingshot that can launch big snowballs down the length of the north home field to the as far as the trees by the breeding corral. That is a distance of about 350 feet or so horizontally. In the summer it is pine cones, tennis balls and water balloons made from bread bags that fly in great arcs.

Flying paper airplanes down the hill is another favorite pass time from the the platform. When the winds are light there is generally an uplifting current rising up the hill that carries the airplanes far.

It has also been the site of many family picnics. There is a comfortable bench in the house portion which doubles as a table. The wide deck offers a great view from where we look out over what we’ve accomplished and make more plans for the coming days and years as we munch our meal.

Next year’s project is to build a railing that goes all the way around the platform. Little Hope loves going up there and she’s getting faster and faster. She is quite cautious about the edge, as she should be. Will says a railing would make him feel better even though Hope is never up there without us.

The kids are not the sole occupants of the treehouse. Up in the rafters of the house below the metal roof is a mud and stick birds nest sheltered from wind, sun and rain. We’ve never seen the owner but it is fun to know they’re about. The trees have many occupants.

Franklin got drunk one evening down at the pub and drowned his sorrows and self in his mug of beer. The headlines the next morning ran, “Fank-In-Stein Dead!”

27째F/21째F, Partly Sunny

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Tree House Time

  1. pablo says:

    Any overnights in this splendid fortress?

  2. What an amazing tree house, Walter!
    Since my childhood I loved it, but I never had one. Great job! Well done!

    Que incrível casa na árvore, Walter! Desde a minha infância eu gostava delas, mas eu nunca tive uma. Ótimo trabalho! Parabéns!

  3. patina says:

    bungie snow balls, pine cones, and water bags. oh man. this is heaven on earth!

  4. Pablo, none yet although the offer has been there. The kids have a high loft bed they love. It makes their room into a two story space.

  5. Bob says:

    Nice! But no concrete?

  6. Farmerbob1 says:

    More Chinese characters in the temperature section, Walter.

    With all the forms from the butcher shop construction to use for raw materials, will the tree house be upgraded to a tree palace for Hope?

    • Ben and Hope did some reconstruction on the treehouse last year using some of the scraps however the forms from the butcher shop we’re saving for doing other concrete form work. Some of those forms were previously used to build the south field shed a.k.a. first greenhouse and before that they were used to build our house, the tiny cottage.

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