Why do I have an increasing dislike of nearly all things government?
Horace Burgess of Crossville opened "The Treehouse The Way," a popular, 100-foot tall structure in Crossville, as a ministry.
On Aug. 30, state authorities closed it as a safety precaution.
Better Half and I had the distinct pleasure of stopping by The Treehouse on the way to Oleg’s one day, and I have to admit that it was one of the more-awesome constructs I have ever seen, much less crawled around in, especially when you consider that a very small group of people – and mostly one man – did all of the building by hand. Sure, the guy might have a few screws loose, but he was not hurting anyone, and he went out of his ways to post signs and warnings on his property that if you were going to be crawling around The Treehouse, you were literally taking your own life into your hands.
And to be sure, there were more than a few spots on the structure where one good slip or one loss of balance would be rather painful for the parties involved, and there were a few ledges, overhangs, and specifically the tower where I simply did not go because I am an acrophobic pansy-ass, but what the hell else would you honestly expect from a building hand-constructed by someone believing God instructed him to do so? I mean, Horace Burgess – the mastermind behind this particular feat of humanity – is not exactly bashful with his mission of preaching and spreading The Good Word, and driving up to the building you cannot help but notice that it really does look like something slapped together by someone in their spare time.
But in the nearly-20 years it has been open, not a single person has been hurt or killed at The Treehouse to my knowledge… because, despite the State Fire Marshall’s apparent belief otherwise, people are not idiots, and they can look after themselves.
If I want to put my neck on the line by crawling around some dude’s overgrown outgrowth of whatever it is he thinks the voices are telling him to do, then that is on me. If I slip and fall to my death in the process, then that is on me for putting myself in that situation. If I have a grand old time and go home with a compact flash card full of pictures, then that is on me. Why? Because I am responsible for my own life – just like you are responsible for your own life, whether you own up to it or not – and I do not need some pissant meddling bureaucrat to remind me that what I am doing could be dangerous. In other words, because f*ck you.
Crap on a crutch – I felt safer on The Treehouse than I did descending Alum Cave Trail from Mount LeConte when the latter was covered in melting ice and snow; both are "tourist attractions", both are potentially dangerous, but, ironically, only the former has warning signs on it and only the former is currently closed.
Anywise, there is a Change.org petition to re-open The Treehouse, though I doubt it will matter in the long run, and you can contact the Tennessee State Fire Marshall’s office (politely, please) at 615.741.2981 (again, not that I think it will make a huge difference). Personally, I found the structure absolutely fascinating, but I would probably be equally entranced by the Winchester Mystery House, so take that for whatever it may be worth. For the time being, here are some pictures we took from our visit:
I will try to get some better ones up later this weekend… I wish now I had taken more.
(Note: Just for clarity’s sake, my objection to this turn of events has precisely nothing to do with Mr. Burgess’ faith and the fact that it is nominally the same as mine; I simply object to the government sucking the fun out of life – to understate things significantly – at every available opportunity.)