Despite being half Native American I have never slept in a teepee. Until this last summer. My mom had an art booth set up at the Yakama Nation Cultural Center in Toppenish Washington. At the local RV camp they have teepees you can spend the night in. It sounded like fun so we booked one for two nights.
We arrived at the campsite late at night and were tired. We unpacked our suitcases, brushed our teeth and fell quickly asleep. The next day we woke up bright and early. We had to be at the Yakama Nation Cultural Center by 7 am. Setting up an art/craft booth is not the easiest thing, and to add to it we decided to dress up in our Native American outfits.
This was the first art booth my mom had ever set up so we kept adjusting everything till we finally had it perfect. We finished just in time to enjoy the passing parade. As my mom continued to man the booth my friend and I checked out the other booths and the Yakama Nation Cultural Center. There was beautiful hand crafted beaded jewelery, crafts, clothing, food, and multiple talented artists. We enjoyed fry bread, indian tacos, and at lunch there was a salmon fest.
But it was hot. By 10 am I was very warm. At noon I was sweating heavily. By two pm it was unbearable. The festival ended early due to the heat so we packed up an hour early and went back to our teepee.
We found our teepee flooded. A sprinkler had malfunctioned and while teepees are waterproof they are not flood proof. At first we were really upset. But the manager and staff were quick to assist us. And since the only thing that got wet was our sleeping bags and some clothes we were okay. Since you can’t lock teepees we hadn’t left anything of value or electronic to be destroyed. The thing that was most destroyed was my paperback novel. Even though the pages were slightly curled I was still able to enjoy my book.
To cool off while we did our laundry we took a dip in the pool. Then, even though it was very hot outside, we got in the hot tub. After that we enjoyed a night fire with hotdogs.
Even though this was not the most authentic experience you can have sleeping in a teepee, I enjoyed it immensely. There is no TV, air conditioning, heating, or feather mattresses, but who needs all that? Just make sure to bring a flash light and a good book.