Final Thoughts On The Ranch: A Comedic Interlude 1

 So, you know those pop-up shade houses with the canvas tops that attach to the white metal frame of the structure with Velcro? What are they called? Easy Ups? Well we’ve had one of those for years. It has always been more handy when being used as a tent canopy than a shade house. In fact on more than one occasion it has spared us some serious tent flooding on various camping trips over the years. For that very reason it has always been dear to me and I have taken it on every outdoor, camping-like excursion (including this one) for as long as we have had it.
    Well, being out in the southern Arizona desert for a month, I decided to break it out and let it do the job it was born to do. With the lack of trees and shady places to sit in, I set it up apart from the RV to serve as a little sitting/relaxation area, away from our general living space so to speak. I put a little camp table we had acquired out there and even thought about running some power to it so as to have some music or whatever else may require electricity, to help enjoy an afternoon in the desert shade.
    Although Tan had warned me that these strong desert winds might do a number on my little oasis, I staked down the legs and felt fairly confident that the Easy Up would weather any heavy winds. After all, the tent I had set up for Mercy was doing just fine in these conditions. Well one particular day we decided to leave the ranch and head into town for the afternoon. Again, the winds were strong but I wasn’t too concerned… until we got back! The tent of course was fine but my shady rest area was a mangled mess! The canvas top had torn in multiple places and the frame lay in a bent up heap due to the monstrous gusts of wind causing it to collapse in upon itself.
    I abandoned all thought and ran for my poor shelter like a father charging to the rescue of an injured child. I pulled the shredded fabric from the wreckage and surveyed the damage. After some careful untangling, the frame wasn’t actually in that bad a shape. It had bent at some of the joints but I was able to make some repairs using my trusty grip locks and some minor replacement parts I just so happened to have. Whew! A few days later, after plucking up the courage to assess the torn canvas, I was happy to see that the hideous, ragged rips I had envisioned turned out to be a few straight (although loooong) tears that I could probably quite easily repair using that which fixes EVERYTHING… Duck Tape! (I will mention briefly that the only worthy duct tape is DUCK brand duct tape!)
    Like a surgeon pulling back together each side of a gash left in the skin from a nasty knife fight, I carefully repaired the wounds in the skin of my desert companion. After an hour or so in the beating hot sun and after using almost 1/3 of a roll of Duck Tape, I had completed the necessary repairs. Proud of my work and glad to have healed a friend, I gently gathered up the weathered canvas and carried it over to be reunited with its equally weathered and mended frame. With care I tossed the repaired canvas top over the frame and secured all of the Velcro straps and various attachment points. After completing my task, with the sun beating down I settled into my chair in the newly created shade and comfort of my old friend. With a sigh of relief and satisfaction, I thought to myself, “Job well done, and next time the winds are strong I’ll simply remove the top and put it away until the calm returns. No worries.”
    Later that very same afternoon of what was a calm, yet very hot day, Tanya and I were standing by the front of the RV. Mercy was further away in the pen feeding the animals we had been charged with caring for here on the ranch. Suddenly one of those mini tornadoes (“dust devils” are they called?) materialized right before our eyes in front of the garage near the animal pen. We hollered to Mercy to take cover in the animal shelter as the whirling devil whipped up a swirling cloud of dust. As if that were just for show it proceeded to tear a plywood wall off of one of the other A-frame animal shelters as it headed down its path of destruction. Tanya and I ducked beside the RV as the dust forced us to cover our eyes and turn our backs to the vortex of the mini tornado. As the winds died down it suddenly dawned on me the path that bastard devil had taken. I rose and with my heart in my throat I ran (I think I even screamed!) and turned the corner of the RV to see my newly repaired shade cottage in the exact same mangled heap as before. The dust devil had vanished as if it were never there.
    The roof was now torn in about half a dozen new places (the duck tape repairs held – but what a sacrifice!) with some all of the way across the fabric. I removed the re-injured material and while cursing the heavens stuffed it into the trash can feeling like “the old man” in “A Christmas Story” disposing of his leg-lamp. I can only guess that after watching me toil in the sun, using half of my coveted duck tape, that some desert god or wind spirit decided to make me the unwitting target of its mischief, perhaps looking for a little amusement out in the desert heat.
So I ask you this; does anyone have a canvas canopy top to a pop-up shade house they don’t use anymore? In baby blue? Please?

Desperately needing an EZ top

3 thoughts on “Final Thoughts On The Ranch: A Comedic Interlude 1

  1. Awwww, Thanks for the laugh! Darn those evil desert devils, they definitely targeted your repair masterpiece. I think the poster above is onto something. A new EZ up canvas made entirely of duct tape and velcro. It could have a weave pattern; how long would that take?

  2. I know your heart is heavy with pain and memories of your dear departed canopy, but I found your story hysterical! Perhaps your should construct a new tarp by using nothing but duck tape. They now come in all sorts of colors and patterns and obviously can withstand tornado-like wind! Just an idea.

  3. LOL. How about a brown tarp?? I might even have a green one!!! Duck tape them together!!

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