I like tents. In our basement in Whitehorse half-a-dozen tents dangle from the ceiling, waiting their turn. Malkolm’s blue tent, a Roadrunner 2, has been to many places. It has travelled to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, down the Grand Canyon (twice), to Yosemite, Joshua Tree and the Nahanni River. It is brittle and old and after this trip it will be put out to pasture. Wendy and I chose an inexperienced orange tent called a Mutha Hubba.
I like tents so much that I feel cheated if I don’t spend at least three months in a tent every year. During Bird Year, that will not be a problem. During our 336 days on the road, we have slept 296 days in our tents.
When it is cold, there is nothing better than diving into a tent to warm up. When the mosquitoes swarm, there is nothing better than being inside, laughing at the bugs. Ditto rain. Unfortunately, in southern Texas in May, our tents are not a place of refuge.
It is so hot here that the birds loll around with their beaks open, panting like tiny feathered dogs. When the bugs swarm it is a test of will to unzip the tent and crawl inside. The worst is when it thundershowers and we have to put on the fly. Our tents become saunas and we sweat inside, dripping like the walls of a hot spring.
We are looking forward to ending our trip in the high elevations of the Chisos Mountains where (hopefully) our tents will once again welcome us with a cozy embrace.