I vaguely remember my first stick-house, and the campground I first built it at has been misplaced in the memory banks, I'm afraid. But what I started then turned into a campground tradition.
First, I would look for a place on the campsite that was ideal for building. Once found, I would gather up materials, such a sticks, stones, fallen bark, moss, grass, pine needles, all that jazz, and settle down on a rock or plastic bag. Then would begin the building process. My techniques developed quickly throughout the many years of camping, and in one case I even built a cute little adobe hut beside a lake. Someone had left pistachio shells on the shore, so I made a big batch of mud and made the foundation, building up the walls with the shells as support. My grandma said she saw a couple staring down at my finished house the next morning, smiling.
The houses grew more elaborate as not only my imagination flew, but also as my skill skyrocketed from one house to the next. I would build gardens, lay intricate stone pathways, I even made stone floors on the insides of the houses sometimes. The houses even stood up to the weather. The house pictured here, built under a tree here at home, stood for about two years. It was flattened when gardening needed to be done, but I gladly redecorated it for whichever season it was while it stood. These are the first pictures of it after it was built.
I was quite proud of it, seeing how it lasted, mostly in tact for those many months, and through many downpours that I thought surely would have washed it away. It still stood proudly, beaten by the elements, but standing nonetheless.
I've never been able to build a house at the same park twice, but apparently it doesn't matter if I'm home. In February, during some freakish warm weather, I built the first in my series of homes. One rather tropical in style.