Locality 66 (Angel Fire, New Mexico) Tipi Etiquette

"Indians had definite rules of etiquette for life in the tipi. If the door was open, friends usually walked right in [...] If two sticks were crossed over a tipi door, it meant that the owners either were away or desired no company. If they were away, they first closed the smoke flaps by lapping or crossing them over the smoke hole. The door cover was tied down securely and two sticks were crossed over it. The door was thus "locked", and as safe in Indian society as the most strongly bolted door would be in our civilization today."

-Reginald and Gladys Laubin. The Indian Tipi. Its History, Construction, and Use, 1957.
Photo: Anna Dykema


Locality 65 (Jacksonville, Florida) Throw away the ladder

"My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands them eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them -- as steps -- to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)"

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, 1921.
Photo: Mike Lesnick


Locality 64 (Ontario, Canada) King of the road


Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let...fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but..two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

-Roger Miller, 1964.
Photo: Dave Bradstreet


Locality 63 (Austin, Tx) Independent reality

Space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind union of the two will preserve an independent reality.
-Albert Einstein
Photo: Kyo2601


Locality 62 (Rossekniben) Festung Norwegen

Festung Norwegen, the perimeter of the Third Reich against an allied attack which the Nazi leadership assumed would occur in Norway. Remote pristine coastal landscapes scattered with ruins of defence and fortification systems, coastal artillery, anti-aircraft batteries.

At Rossekniben in Grimstad, an inaccessible observation post was installed to provide a panorama view of the sea, guarded by artilleries until the end of the war. Artillery positions were carefully observed and reported by the local XU group.

Our own underground intelligence agents reveal that construction of fortresses has once again commenced in the area. Just beneath the observation post at Rossekniben, a small wooden fort partly hidden by the thick forest canopy has been registered. The purpose of the fort is as of yet uncertain and at this point may be labeled X for Unknown.


And the winner is...

The winner of Bergens Tidene newspaper and Bergen Architect Association's kid hut competition is 10-year old John Harald Haug from Samnanger. There were 55 contributions from all over the west coast of Norway. Read more here and watch contributions on Norge Rundt on Norwegian TV.


Locality 61 (Fevik, Norway) Noah's Ark

And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17

And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.

22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Genesis 6.


Finest Kid Hut in Western Norway Competition

Inspired by our Kid Hut Expeditions blog, the architect organization Bergen Arkitektforening (BAF) and newspaper Bergens Tidende (BT) have launched a competition to award the finest kid hut in Western Norway. Young architects and constructors are encouraged to send a photo of their "junior huts" to nyhetsweb@bt.no before the end of May.



Locality 59 (Goetheturm, Germany) Winter Solitude

Winter solitude--
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).
Photo: stbeck


Locality 58: (Arcadia, Argentina) To Make a Dadaist Poem

Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake Gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.

Tristan Tzara, Dada Manifesto on Free Love and Bitter Love (1920)
Cinco Sauses (Julian Gatto)


Locality 57 (Fevik) Building an igloo

Deep snow, packed hard by the wind, makes good ground for building the igloo, the snow dwelling of the Eskimo. To keep out the cold, every seam and gap in the igloo walls are chinked with snow. Complete within the hour.


Locality 55 (North West Pennsylvania, US) White Christmas (3d)

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

Irving Berling, 1940.
Anaglyph photo: ian5281


Locality 54 (Ontario, Canada) Rememberance of Things Past

Reduced to a stump
I feel that there is much to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and so effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognised their voice the spell is broken. We have delivered them: they have overcome death and return to share our life.

And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it depends on chance whether we come upon it or not before we ourselves must die.

Marcel Proust, Rememberance of Things Past, 1913.
Photo: Kronix


Locality 53 (Christiania, Copenhagen) Free Town

The Treehouse Song

When I woke
I took the backdoor to my mind
and then I spoke
I counted all of the good things you are

and that list of charms was
longer than my chain of broken hearts
and when the day was done
I figured I had already lost
from the start – from the start

I was gonna love you till the end of all daytime
and I was gonna keep all our secret signs and our lullabies
I was made to believe that our love would grow old
we were gonna live in a treehouse and make babies
and we were gonna bury our ex-lovers and their ghosts
baby we were made of gold

Ane Brun, The Treehouse Song, 2008.
Photo: Jaafar Mestari


Locality 46 (Little Falls, NY) Keeping out of trouble

Explorer Bartzilla reports from an expedition into his own youth:

"Whoever nailed that ladder into the side of the tree must have done it long ago since those slats of wood couldn't support anything these days. This wasn't our original ladder into the fort. Ours was on the other side and a bit more accessible.

The fire pit we had dug and circled with rocks was also washed away, as were the log benches we had put around it. I'm tellin' ya, we went all out on this project. Plus, for the most part, it kept us out of trouble on summer vacations, even if we might have been up to no good up there.

One afternoon of construction, I was blowing off some firecrackers and we saw a policeman doing his commando thing with his shotgun up to the fort. He knew what we were up to and actually just told us to knock it off with the firecrackers and then proceeded to admire our handy work and give us his history of the tree fort that his friends had built in this tree."


Locality 45 (Fevik) We need shelter

"You wouldn't care to help with the shelters I suppose?"
"We need meat"
"We need shelters"
"Are you accusing-"
"All I'm saying is we've worked dashed hard. That's all... Do you want to be rescued? All you talk about is 'pig pig pig'"
"We want meat"
"And I work all day with nothing but Simon and you come back and don't even notice the shelters"
"I work too"
"But you like your work. You enjoy yourself hunting. While I-"
"Do a bit for you before I have a bathe"
"Don't bother"

Peter Brook, screenplay adaptation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, 1963, deleted scene.

Søm-Ruagerkilen Nature Reserve at Fevik, 2009.

Locality 44 (Brentwood, TN): I sit and look

I sit and look
I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband--I see the treacherous seducer
of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
hid--I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny--I see martyrs and
I observe a famine at sea--I observe the sailors casting lots who
shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these--All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out
See, hear, and am silent.

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass - 1871 ed.
Photo: Majtek862


The unknown

: We don´t know how we got here,
or where we are.
We do not know who was here before us,
or where they are now.
We dont even know if they were the ones
that made thís scene.
All we know is that this "home" is very
much alive, and i think we just moved in.


Locality 41 (Lindesnes) Transitory

At Lindesnes Bygdemuseum, this photo depicts two young architects that were never properly credited for their work. Around 1964 (judging from other contemporary photos), Atti Eikaas on the roof, and Odd Terje Vigeland in the doorway, built this magnificent hut. Now the photo is all that remains of it. Apparently, only buildings constructed by adults are worthy of preservation.

Kid huts may compare better to Buddhist sand mandalas. A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. It is the doing that is important, not the artefact. Childhood is transitory. But then again, so is adulthood.


Locality 40 (Arlington, VA, USA) Down memory lane

On the first of May, 1977, at latitude 38.893036 and longitude 77.10101, expedition member Ken Mayer came into the view of a camera lense. The 3-story monstrosity was built from scrap found along the I-66 right-of-way, where torn down houses and businesses along the former railroad line provided plenty of materials.

"I often feel that city-planners fail to recognize the need for free spaces for kids to create their own stuff. In our case, a 20-year fight over an interstate highway created a great over-grown no-man's-land of ruins and forest" says Mayer in a retrospective comment. Although clearly marked "Private", the remains of the hut are now buried below the highway, waiting to be rediscovered.


Locality 39 (Aigle, Switzerland) Unintended Installation

In the forest, near "Aigle", Switzerland, artist and explorer Nicolas Geiser came across this kid hut on slim tree stilts, reachable by a long ladder made of two poles with plank steps. The hut is constructed so that no two boards are alike, nor of the same length. And the "door" is actually a rug. Creativity is the mother of invention.


Locality 38 (Arendal) Ascent at Paradise Bay

Using our expedition boat, a GH 14 with a Yamaha 9,9 HP outboard motor, we are now able to navigate into unexplored bays and islets in the archipelago outside the South Coast of Norway. At Paradise Bay on the small island Havsøy outside of Arendal, a large Ash invited itself to be explored. Somebody had mounted a small swing from one of the branches. At the top of the tree we thought we could discern a small tree hut, but could not be sure from our position on the ground.
Choosing a moment when no-one seemed near, we leapt sinuous and catlike, into the lower branches of the forest giant. Silently we climbed to a great height until we found a point where we could look through a leafy opening upon the scene beneath us.

We had now ascended to the structure we could discern from the ground, and from this angle we realized that it was more of a look-out tower at the top of the forest canopy than a proper hut. A floor, but no walls or roof, the structure was nevertheless sturdily built, and the bent spikes told the tale about the young builders. How on earth they had managed to get up there remained a mystery until we found remains of past ropes that in the past must have made the ascent at Paradise Bay a breeze.


Locality 37 (Northwest Pennsylvania, US) Anaglyph

Ah, the wonders of MODERN SCIENCE! Thanks to the TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS of the 19th century, explorer Ian5281 has provided us with an anaglyph of a snow fort discovered in northwest Pennsylvania, US. This AMAZING STEREOSCOPIC IMAGE may be FULLY appreciated by explorers equipped with a standard set of 3d glasses, such as the one depicted below. NO EXPLORER WOULD DARE LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!

Ah, how fitting that this EXOTIC PHOTOGRAPH of a snow fort should be featured on this summer edition of our INQUISITIVE AND INFORMATIVE BLOG, looking into the MYSTERIES OF CHILDHOOD. We wish our fellow explorers a HAPPY SUMMER HOLIDAY! And do beware of those ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. Tans may come and go, but MEMORIES LAST FOREVER!


Locality 36 (Martinsburg, West Virginia) Simple Living

Explorer Dr. Boden managed to document this tree construction in Martinsburg, West Virginia before the city made the young constructor James demolish the site on claims it was an "eye sore". But with this more substantial shelter about him, he had made some progress toward settling in the world. This frame, so slightly clad, was a sort of crystallization around him, and reacted on the builder. It was suggestive, somewhat as a picture in outlines. He did not need to go outdoors to take the air, for the atmosphere within had lost none of its freshness. "An abode without birds is like a meat without seasoning".


Det norske huset

Frode Grytten and photographer Jens Hauge have been on extensive kid hut expeditions and present their reports in the book "Det norske huset". According to Dagbladet, the starting point for the book project was close to 70 b/w photographies of Norwegian kid huts, documented by Hauge across the last 20 years, everything from small shacks in the trees, sheet metal huts and snow castles to strange tunnelways, crooked verandas and more elaborate constructions resembling art installations. . .