I have always wanted to fly. If I were ever granted by divine gift the superpower of my choice, I would choose flight. Let me soar over the forests, give tail-chase to the birds, hover at every sunset, and heaven would have me wrapped in wings. Most of my best dreams have taken me flying. One day I am fidgeting with a mundane object like an umbrella and by total accident I discover the secret move needed for it to fly. Or else I am running pell-mell down a steep and incredibly high hill when my feet catch in the grass, and falling forward I open my arms only to suddenly swoop into the sky, forever released into my fantasy.
Only in my dreams.
Until now. I found that mundane object that lets me fly, and if you promise not to tell anyone else I will show you how it looks, like this:
This, dear friend, is a treeboat. The unenlightened may believe the treeboat to be a simple hammock, and we can leave them with their poor vision, but you and I, friend, we know better. Treeboats are designed and built for sleeping in the tops of trees. A hammock is a platform for drinking cold alcohol over sandy beaches, and any parrot head can hang one while standing on the ground. Treeboats are made with heavy canvass and straps strong enough to tow a truck. In the hands of an expert they are slung hundreds of feet above the ground. Choose the tallest tree, recline amongst the branches, close your eyes to half-open, and the sway of the canopy and the kiss of the wind will fly you over the forest.
Fantasy in bed is the hunger that unites all young boys until one passionate night they are released into manhood. In a single moment longing turns to swagger, wonder to knowledge. I lost my treeboat virginity suspended 165 feet high in a Sitka spruce. A non-believer, I thought a treeboat to be some sort of a hammock, and my biggest concern was falling to death. A much greater fear is living an experience so pure and so vital that there is no looking back. I was rocked by a Barred Owl calling its mournful “who-cooks-for-you” in the light of a full moon. I floated through moon beams on a bed of fresh air high above the forest floor. With my eyes snapped wide open I found the secret of flight. It was a night of pleasure that divided my whole life into the before and the after. Before I experienced treeboating it was enough to hide under blankets and spy the glossy pages of tree climbing catalogs. After I learned to fly I would never again be content to sleep on the ground.
Some poor doubter is going to think that this is just a bunch of hype, artistic license designed to get attention. Let me give you some perspective. I remember the night I slept on the plank floor of a palm-thatched house of a Miskito Indian family, as Caribbean waves lapped the beach under my head. I remember the night in Glacier Basin when the light of the stars was so huge that I could have performed brain surgery on my backpacking partner Phil, no external light source needed. Some nights are unforgettable and their memory never fades. Sleeping in a treeboat went beyond all that. It was magic. Let dreams take flight.
Treeboats are made by New Tribe in Grants Pass, Oregon. Look for them here.
I would like to thank Jamz Luce for introducing me to treeboating, and New Tribe for inventing the Treeboat.