Bob was about 15 years old when he told me that some guys at school were building a hut out of trees. In 1956, the only popular job for young teenagers was that of paper boy, delivering newspapers door to door. There wasn't any fast food restaurants to work at so we found other things to do. Building a hut was seen as a neat idea.
Bob reported that the hut was hidden somewhere south of Drumheller. So, from what little we knew, there were about 10 square miles where the hut could be hidden.
finding the hut
But when we realized that there was probably only one decent coulee south of Drumheller which had plenty of trees, we suspected that finding the hut wouldn't be a big problem. We hiked south, up and out of the valley wall, and across some pasture for a total of 3 or 4 miles.
When we came to the edge of the coulee, we could see that the trees were only growing along the far side of it. It was only a short coulee and there was only one area where the trees were really dense. Our guess was that that is where the hut was probably built.
We crossed the coulee and then walked along the ridge next to the trees until reaching the place where the trees were dense. Then we climbed through the trees and down the hill a bit. There it was! Although it was very well hidden, it was still fairly easy to find.
On that day, I happened to have my camera so I took the two pictures which are below.
A lot of careful thought must have gone into the planning for this hut. When you look under the hut on the right, you can see that small trees were used to shore up dirt which was dug out of the side of the hill. This left the floor of the hut supported both by the part where the dirt was removed from the hill, and by the dirt which was held by those small trees.
This is the hut from above. If they ever tried sleeping in it, I wonder if they brought a tarp to cover the roof and provide shelter.
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Posted January 18, 2001 .