Aspen, ponderosa pine, blue spruce
pink glacier-cut rock, scree, ravens
gray jay, peregrine falcon, hawk.
We climb to 11,000 feet in three days,
camp at Lawn Lake for three days. Alpine
tundra. Elk, bighorn sheep, marmot.
Tileston Meadows, ticks in grass,
rock face of Mummy Mountain.
Binoculars show pink cracks in gray rock.
Stoke gas stoves, play cards.
Boil water, set up tarps, lay out
sleeping bags, hang bear bag.
Watch crescent moon slice into
Fairchild Mountain. Moonlight
makes a mosque of the rocks.
Yellow aspen splash in dark green
spruce and pine. Gullies where streams
slash during spring snowmelt.
One rock, feather or flower worth
more than money. Need no wallet,
keys. Just clothes for fur.
All day climb toward saddle to see
what's on other side. One hawk floating
among bare peaks and over valleys.
Wind at 13,000 feet
turns to sleet. Turn back from peak,
take boulders two at a time down.
Winter moves into mountains.
Then we fly from Denver to New York
where it's still summer.
Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.