The calendar says that spring is coming this week… I’m beginning to suspect that the calendar is about as trustworthy as Punxsutawney Phil. For most of the past six weeks we been at or above average for temperature, and on 32 out of 40 days – you could see your and Phil’s shadow – what’s that about? Boston has sure had more than six weeks of winter, but we’ve barely had a week since his toothy prediction… that bites!
Well, at least in Sun Prairie, WI…
With the coming of spring, we move into some major outdoor time. The sun is hot, the weather is great, it’s time to BBQ, and we schedule most of our outdoor events between now and the first of November. More than a few of us having been waiting all winter to get out and enjoy the warmth.
Did you know that Travel+Leisure.com lists GJ as one of the “Coolest Desert Towns”? I don’t think that has much to do with the temperature! Cool is not how you describe a typical Grand Valley day in July. You could say that about our evenings, once the sun goes down it can get cool in multitudes of ways from one end of the valley to the other! But we love our sunshine! Another bit of online trivia… Tourism-Review.com has GJ as the seventh sunniest city in the USA. Those are just a couple of things that make the valley such a great place to live, to play and to vacation.
The weather in western Colorado is one of the reasons we like tents. Rain or shine we like the protection. And living in Colorado, we like to be mobile, there are so many places to go and so many things to see. Tents work in so many ways.
Tents have not changed much through history. Wikipedia defines a tent as:
A shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomadic peoples, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and temporary shelters.
When we say tents haven’t changed much, we mean fundamentally there is still fabric being stretched to provide shelter. The tents we rent for events and weddings, come in a variety of sizes and can be configured for a wide range of needs. The basic idea behind a tent remains the same. You can imagine a hundred years ago a special event like a big wedding was taking place in town and no building was large enough to hold all the guests. The solution: Tents!
Sure, tents give you shelter from the elements, but they can be so much more. Tents create an atmosphere all their own. I wonder how many “tents” get put up inside a home with little kids who are bored on a rainy day. You’ve probably done it, moved the furniture around and draped them with all the blankets and sheets you could get. You crawl in, pile some pillows around, and voilà, it becomes a magical place.
I doubt that there are many people who don’t like tents. In in a modern culture, tents are more available than ever. They’re not just a relic from the dark ages. If you watch many of the classic old movies, especially westerns, you’ll see tents used during rodeos, in Indian villages, on safaris and expeditions, and of course the circus. And those are images we instantly recognize.
What would a circus be without the atmosphere of the “Big Top”? Now that Barnum Brother’s “Greatest Show on Earth” is removing elephants from all its shows after 145 years, the circus atmosphere is certain to change. Most of us have some sort of image in our mind of the elephants helping putting up the big tents. I still remember my first “big” tent experience. In the mid-60’s the Big John Strong circus came to Rangely, my home town. In a little, hot and dusty oil town, the circus coming to town was a really big thing. And watching them set up the “big top” and all the trappings that went with a traveling circus, was something a young boy couldn’t get enough of.
Where will tents be a hundred years from now? Probably not much different is my guess, just doing their thing… providing shelter from the elements while the guests inside enjoy the show.