Backpacking to Colorado
A summer break was time for adventure.
Equipment rented and over packed,
thumb sticking out we hit the road.
A semi truck cab bouncing wildly
across the southern Dakota
barely able to read the Burma Shave signs.
Camping at KOA didn’t seem like roughing
it enough while we walked across the highway
to go dancing in the honkytonk.
But the station wagon with a family of five,
homeless and searching for work
the tale to be remembered and told.
And the bronc buster who drove us
south the next day traveled the plains
ranch to ranch breaking horses.
dropped off on the edge of a little town
no campground So we splurged a motel room,
prepaid with no refunds, no A/C
no hospitality returned with
a gift, meat to spoil in the radiator
We learn as we moved on.
“Where you heading?
Get in you big dumb Norwegian.” he said.
“Your big square head gave you away. ”
A short ride to the edge of the mountains.
The foot hills fading green in the summer heat.
A book of poetry to carry his wife we receive
Then the canyon walls so steep
you cannot see the sky
riding in an RV for the climb.
Living in the greenest green,
hiking JD’s land
until we’re chased away.
Organic tuna melts
in the only restaurant
in town with no stop signs.
More hiking in elevations too high for your blood.
Then south to Coors
in Golden and
chili five ways in town.
Denver ahead, a total let down.
Restrictions and lack of transportation
pushed us back out onto the plains.
Storms in the distance but dropped off at a Y,
no water, no ride, as hours go by.
We walk to the house with the well in the yard.
No one is home but rattles greet us
at the pump handle we let them lie.
Finally as the sunsets a truck slows to us
and offers one in the cab and one in the back
as his oxygen tank lay on the front seat.
I opt for the back with a half of bottle of water
Inside, Bill drinks coffee from a thermos cap
My hair blows as highway speeds are exceeded
,into the night.