Here is a view of our tarp shelter at Roundrock. It’s not fancy, but it has been surprisingly durable through the years.
L and I have cherished many hours in the chairs under this tarp. It’s here we usually have our lunch, our snacks, our bottles of water, an occasional ceegar for Pablo, and long, lingering conversations about everything and nothing.
We’ve come to the shelter on winter days to find it sagging under the weight of snow atop it. We’ve sat under it, snug and dry, during heavy rain storms. We’ve hidden from the August sun here. And we’ve looked down from here onto Lake Marguerite to watch the sparkling water as many times as we can contrive.
Construction is simple. We ran a stout rope between the trees as high as we could reach to serve as the ridge line. I used taut line hitches at each end so we could tighten the rope periodically. Then we tied the four corners to various nearby trees to stretch the tarp. This took a little experimentation as we found just the right way to pull at the corners to prevent bowls from forming in the fabric.
Coincidentally, (and I hope it is only coincidence) several of the trees we’ve tied the tarp to have since died. The two closest in the photo are dead. And the two we’d tied to at the back not only died but uprooted under the tension from the tarp. So I sunk a few steel fence posts in their places, and they serve just fine.
The tarp itself is beginning to show its age. We can see pinpoints of light through it as we sit under it, but they do not leak water when it rains. Maybe there are a few more years in it yet.
It’s our plan to erect a small, one-room cabin where the shelter sits. We’ve already picked out the one we want.
There is a small concern in town that makes these to order and sets them up at their destination. The builder hires local Amish youth as his carpenters, and without exception, the area Amish are admired for their craft and thoroughness.
Should this dream ever come to pass, count on Roundrock Journal to document it for you.