Monday, January 22, 2018

Boulder Creek Lakes

Little did I know that a solo trip
Into the heart of Trinity Alp,
Where exhilarations warn of dangers above
That nature may take my scalp.

For in my younger days a field,
I had a knack for these types of things.
Common sense fading to invincibility
When the siren sweetly sings.

To Canyon Creek flowing arrow straight
From holy bosom of Trinity peaks,
Shining marble white in an emerald sea.
Granite islands who's legend speaks.

Gleaming temples of beauty fit
For the Three for which they're named.
On a grand scale of Zeus' Olympus,
Where tonight his realm proclaimed.

To Boulder Creek Lakes on western rim.
A hanging valley on lofty perch.
In beautiful view of Sawtooth Peak
And range in glory's search.

Where path begins in majestic oak.
With pine and inland growth.
In magical woodland I linger long;
Autumn toned greens and yellows both.

A wood spirit wonderland by creek below.
In my pores let soak their rhymes.
Whose immersion is a tonic best
To be drank in these good times.

Small walls of water sheeting off
Into glistening pools in mossy glade.
To delight the soul of traveler weary,
When siren's calls to relax are made.

But not today fair ladies of the glen.
Soon loftier elevations are in store.
For the sky is slowly fading to gray,
As the overhead clouds gather more.

Onward through the meadowed fern.
On the edges where others were heard.
They'd be safe and protected in shadowed grove
From gusts fresh the ocean stirred.

A few small drops fell on my head
As I reached a stepping fall
That came in from the lakes I sought
Which lay in hallowed hall.

As I ascended Boulder Creek,
The winds increased but warm.
The clouds rolled in from western skies
With doom of the pending storm.

"I should not be climbing higher," I thought.
"Back to the meadow below."
"The others were the smart ones you jackass!"
But onward I did go.

Invincibility was winning out
As common sense was tossed.
For the sirens were calling from the lake above.
In their pleasures my mind was lost.

This is how those sailors perish
From their voyages in paradise.
I too could not stop until I'd found
To have been wrapped in deadly vice.

The rumble of thunder to the west as I climbed
Now reaching the alpine bowl.
"The lightning should hit the surrounding peaks,"
So I thought of the chances I'd stole.

The sirens had now wrapped their legs
Tightly around my head.
All reasoning was surely gone by now,
As my wonder had turned to dread.

A flash of light and a thundering CRACK
Blasted nearby from above.
A sudden downpour following at once
Pushed me into my tent with a shove.

As nightfall fell and the rain had died,
I crawled out and lay on a rock.
And I let the  calmness slowly creep in
As the enchanting slowly took stock.

What followed was of nature's fury!
Above me now an amazing feat!
Raw, breastplate filleted open,
Exposed heart pulsing electric beat!

The angst of youth driving at the core
Of climactic rawness undulating.
Gyrating and spasming in endless ecstasy.
Ghostly with nashed teeth and grating.

As if 40,000 wolves in orchestral howl
In unison and rhythm to Alpha Mother.
With grimace and snarl she conducts her song
Of persistence she is matched none other.

Rolling! Rolling! Rolling without end!
Not in waves like the sea, but constant river flow
Of electric clouds tumbling and fighting
And grinding over jagged ridges below.

A fury of gray and pink and orange
With silver streaks bent running through.
Never reaching down to the granite peaks.
3,000 salmon gathered right on que.

Jumping the falls of Earth, heavenly bound.
Fighting upstream past grizzly's jaws.
Struggling to reach holy breeding grounds.
The pure essence of nature's laws.

Pulsating crackles whipping throughout.
Explosive rumblings reverberating back
Off Earth's exposed granitic bones.
Incessant chaos with a thunderous SMACK!

After hours of this I grew weary and tired.
With sleeping bag ready, I crawled inside
While Zeus proclaimed his rightful place.
He finished his sermon fully satisfied.

The morning dawned with barely a trace
Of what went on the previous night.
I awoke to near cloudless sky.
Blue as the Aegean, and sun shining bright.

The whole of the day was spent exploring
The islands and cliffs and lakes all around.
For I had survived the sirens' trappings.
Who had silenced their singing, nor whispered a sound. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Trinity River

This was not new to us.
We knew how to hole up in camp during stormy nights.
Young and free to spend time in miserable weather
With rain pounding down
To keep us tucked in our tent.

One doesn't question in country like this.
One embraces Decembers in the hills.

Long, cold hump over Backbone Ridge
Under darkened forest canopy
Not able to keep out the mist.
Rain beginning as we wade into camp.

The cold mountains.
The wet forests.
Greet us like old friends.

Old goldmine site on riverside bench.
Tailings filling the flat as to make it uninhabitable.
But with a tributary cascading in just upstream.
Its whitewater shimmering in the gloom.
A welcoming sign of woodland home
Delighting any long tread tramper looking for such.

Set the fly against the wind,
And ease back in the sand as the river roars
And the rain pours through our ears
Cleansing our dreams through the night.

In the morning we arise having survived.
No sun for weeks now,
But rain all but gone for today.

A lone goose swooshes by upriver
Like a jet just above the water.
Didn't know they could fly that fast.
Out for a joyride after the storm.

An old black-tail greets us on the ridge
As we climb back to the world.
A hint of sunlight surrounds him
And too is gone as he vanishes down the brush.

He is free to spend his nights
Along the river bends here with the ghosts
Of rusted out stove pipes
And tin can tailings of generations ago.
Pursuing happiness in a darkened canyon.