One of the things that I recall that happened to me when I lived in the tipi is that I became very aware of a lot of things.
It took a couple of months but it seemed my senses opened up in such a way I have never experienced either before or since.
I always seemed to know if there was someone within about 100 yards of me and I became incredibly sensitive as to what the weather was going to do at just about any given time.
It was truly astonishing.
I remember more than once telling someone to get under an overhang because it was going to start raining any second and watching them give me a strange look only to have the entire sky unzip on them a couple of seconds later.
Sometimes I even knew what was going to happen while in the midst of a deep sleep.
At the Fort Bridger Rendezvous in ’76 I didn’t drag the tipi along. A friend there offered me the hospitality of his which I accepted, telling him I would only crash out in it during inclement weather, as during the rendezvous I would play things authentic and sleep under the stars as was my nature at the time.
One night I woke up in the middle of the night and crawled into my friends tipi and grabbed a chunk of the dirt floor and curled up seconds before it started to rain. It was noticed by my friend who happened to have been awake at the time having just answered the call of nature.
This was about as close to witchcraft as I have ever experienced in my life. At times it was downright scary and it sometimes scared the hell out of people.
I was going to school four days a week on my GI bill and astonished my classmates a couple of times.
I recall sitting in class one time when a blizzard was on the way and commenting that if the people that lived on Ute Pass left right after class and didn’t tarry that they would be pulling into their driveways when we would start to get dumped on.
One classmate asked me how much snow we were going to get and I replied about six inches and added that it was going to get pretty windy and it would probably drift up pretty good in places, but it wasn’t worth shoveling a whole lot as it would melt off fast.
“That’s not what the weather man said,” replied a classmate. I shrugged.
The next time class met a lot of people looked at me like I was some kind of witch. All of the people that had left after class and went straight home reported that it had started snowing just as they were pulling into their driveways.
We had gotten about six inches and the wind had drifted it up pretty good in places. It was also pretty warm out and melting pretty fast, too.
This uncanny knack to predict the local weather carried me well until I packed the tipi for the last time and then inside of about a month the ability to predict the weather simply went away.
While I was cruising my sailboat and living aboard it came back to me to a much lesser extent. It was nowhere near as close to what it had been when I lived in the tipi.
I wonder about that from time to time and have not managed to figure it out yet.
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