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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Hopefully by now, you’ve read How to Erect a Tipi. You are now self-assured that you would be able to follow those directions to the letter and would have a Tipi that would bear up against 100 mph winds and make the Nations proud (or at least Chief White Pigeon…his story tomorrow). Now you need to know how to take it down.

I wish I could tell you that! There are no directions that I can find that tell you the proper way to take down the tipi. One would think you would do the reverse of what you did to set it up, but I can tell you from personal experience, that is not always the case.

I don’t remember much about taking down the tipi except that it was fairly uncomplicated to get the canvas off from the poles. Then you’ve got all of those poles left standing and a rope hanging down (which is the rope you “wrapped” around the upper section of the tripod poles to secure them together). All I can remember is Dan standing inside, surrounded by poles (by that I mean, if the canvas was still covering the poles, he would have been standing inside the tipi in the center) and pulling on that rope. Have you ever played “pick up stix”?? THAT is kind of what happened when Dan pulled on the rope. All of those LONG, LONG, poles (and I can’t remember if we had 15 or more) came crashing down around him…and not a one of them even touched him. It was in slow motion. I laughed so hard I collapsed on the ground. If I’d have had the camcorder, we probably would have been $10,000 ahead. The look on his face was priceless. Dan was just totally stunned.

You are probably thinking THAT is the motivation behind selling the tipis. NOPE. That’s not it. As I said in my previous post, lots of people stopped and took lots of photos. We even had people make reservations and “try” to use them. When a person made a reservation (no pun intended), I made SURE that they KNEW they would be sleeping ON the ground. Along with the tipis, we had purchased circular, heavy canvas tarps to put on the ground but you still have that gap between the ground and the bottom of the tipi. I also told them that tipis are by NO means bug proof; besides the gap at the bottom, there is the smoke flap at the top. All of them assured me they were primed for this experience. None of them lasted a night! (I’m sure you’ll not see any of them on any episodes of Survivor). Some were upset that there was no fire pit IN the tipi; instead it was OUTSIDE of the tipi. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen the kinds of campfires some people make. They have an inferno that can be seen for half a mile and shoots flames into the air 10 feet. You couldn’t roast a marshmallow on that fire for a week. And they think I’d want THAT inside a $1000 tipi!!

So, no, they did not go over well in our area. A campground in southern Lower Michigan purchased the tipis. I don’t know if they have had any better luck or not. If they hadn’t been such an investment, we would have put them on the playground…and left them up ALL year long! Would have been safer that way; at least for Dan!

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