Into the night, Intently gaze, And while you do, A mystery plays.
There were 9 teenagers in Will’s group. He was sure of it. He knew each of them by both their name and quantity of snacks they possessed. They’d been backpacking in the boonies for 10 days and he’d headcounted them a bunch of times. Making sure everyone was accounted for, was one of his prime responsibilities as the group leader. The nine kids and two leaders made for a total group size of 11, a fact engrained in his mind.
Rumbling rivers, creeks, and streams.
Water left pure,
From the moment it falls
On the Continental Divide, as rain or snow,
And begins its journey
Down to the oceans.
Some of it goes into the ground.
Some fills my cup.
Some provides the Brook Trout a place to live.
Some gives the Spruces a drink.
Some makes wallows for the elk.
Some creates glaciers.
And some goes back into the sky and falls again.
Up here, the water is guarded for a while,
By the Winds,
The Wind River Mountains that is.
The range of mountains is inhospitable to some,
But beckoning to others.
The place is too rough for roads,
But covered with paths.
People go there,
To hike, fish, climb, camp,
Meander, sit, ponder, and dream.
But few remain–
There are other places
Better suited to
Building, driving, using, living,
Protecting the water
Is a full time job.
The mountains, forest,
Creeks, and meadows,
Are left free to do
What they do best.
And they do it well.
The water will move on
And nourish the flatlands.
It’ll irrigate corn, bathe babies,
Water lawns, and get purified
One way or another, the water will change
Once it flows beyond
The protection of the Winds–
For better or worse.
But up in this neck of the woods,
All is well for a time.
And the water is clear
Thanks to Pingora, Gannett, and Fremont.
Dinwoody, Lizard Head,
Desolation, and The Sphinx.
Washakie Pass, Titcomb Basin,
Dickinson Park, and The Cirque of the Towers.
Popo Agie River, Deep Creek Lakes,
Mitchell Peak, and Wolf’s Head.
Stough Creek, Three Fork’s Park, Wind River Peak,
And so many more…