If You Build It, You Will Sleep


Last week we went to Westcliffe where my mother has a small cabin.
A few people sleep outside on the deck but most everyone sleeps in tents.


Zippy and I’ve pitched our tent in the same place for years,
a slightly sloped, rocky spot beneath some pine trees.
I don’t get very good sleep while there and after a few nights of that, I’m exhausted.

So, this year we (um, I) decided we should have tent platforms.

Via Craigslist, I found enough secondhand Trex decking for two 10′ x 12′ platforms
and in early July we loaded that and a bunch of other lumber into a 16′ rental truck and took it down.
Here’s where we built the first platform (for Zebu and Wildebeest) last week:
Here are Zippy and Zebu working hard to build a level frame (Wildebeest was off chasing a gorilla) :
Zippy and Zebu are math-heads, and they had a grand time measuring and strategizing 
while I served as beast of burden and moved lumber and tools as needed.
They made great progress that first day but we had to pause while it stormed:
When we finished, the boys had what turned out to be The Best Morning Spot on the property . . . 
shade until ten in the a.m., baby!

We built Zippy’s and my platform after that (note the 9 on the headboard; Zebu and I drove into
town for drill bits and when he saw the house numbers on display, insisted we get some. He
and Wildebeest are number 4 while I opted for "number nine, number nine" in honor of The Beatles):
And now Zippy and I have this glorious view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains:
But even better, we sleep well.

24 thoughts on “If You Build It, You Will Sleep

  1. Lovely view, and I’m glad you found a confortable alternative to sleeping on the ground. Cue music: Whatever Gets You Through The Night. 😉

    (This brings to mind the time I helped build a platform for a tent revival meeting in Pennsylvania.)


    • These platforms are the standard size for wall tents so we may upgrade in the future. I guess a revival tent is a huge wall tent, so if I’d known I had a friend experienced with such things I would’ve invited you over to share in the fun! Memories…


    • Thank goodness for being able to search the internet for plans! I know what you mean about not sleeping as well with little kids. It’s definitely a different experience now that the boys are older and in their own tents. Much simpler. Better sleep for all. Not to mention no dogs in the tent, either! 🙂


    • It really is a lovely place. We snagged two of the more flat sites so if my siblings choose to build more, we’ll have to do some digging to get them level. We’re in search of adjustable jacks that would cut down on digging.


    • It is an amazing view and I’m the lucky duck who ran an extension cord down there for my laptop and did some work on my new book. In the past, I’ve sat there in a chair on the tippy ground while insects annoyed me. It’s much nicer working up on the platform.


    • I keep going back to look at the photos because they give me such a sense of accomplishment. It took lots of planning and even more sweat, but it was worth it. Plus, Zebu learned lots of new new skills and I learned how to drill pilot holes. Woohoo!


  2. Westcliffe! I’ve been there a number of times. And in that part of the Sangre de Cristos, too. My dad’s art studio was just outside Canon City, Florence, Penrose.

    Platforms are a brilliant idea.


    • You must come back to your old stomping grounds! I knew your dad’s studio was somewhere out west but didn’t realize it was so close. My little niece threw up just outside Florence this trip after the twisty, turny drive out of the mountains. (Aren’t you glad I shared that?)

      Platforms are brilliant, and I doff my cap at those who designed the plans we used!


    • We were an awesome crew. Zebu really enjoyed working on those platforms and we all learned new skills. The views are just the icing on the cake.

      Maybe a writing retreat is in order….?


Comments are closed.