Out of the tent and into the morning,
What will the new day have to say?
The fresh morning air is crisp and clear,
The soon-to-be coffee will be hot and dear,
And my mind is most certainly full of cheer.
The air is filled with a calming breeze,
I ponder how last night it got down to 38 degrees.
Heavy dew got everything wet,
I was that way, too, but mine was from sweat.
High in the sky, movement catches my eye,
I focus and see it’s a hawk floating by,
And I wish that I could also fly.
Two chipmunks scurry between nearby rocks,
The big one squeaking like a chatterbox.
I also hear the tumbling creek,
Yesterday, things were looking awfully bleak,
But today, we’ll forget that and climb the peak.
Sunlight is shining on the summit we seek,
Looking at the steepness makes my knees feel weak.
I’ll worry about that later on,
But for now, I’m just gonna relish the dawn,
And enjoy watching the newborn fawn.
Since we’re climbing Big Sandy, then returning here for the night,
We can limit our gear and travel light.
For the climb, we won’t need a big backpack.
We’re only taking raingear, water, and snack,
And can fit all of that into a knapsack.
I need to get the group up and going,
Before the wind starts really blowing.
The storms have started building every day at noon.
Just like during monsoon season, but it’s only June.
All the more reason to get going soon.
Thank goodness my rain jacket’s been working well,
It’s kept me dry and it’s only a shell.
The climb’s gonna be long, so I need to fill my bottles with water.
Look over there, is that an otter?
I swear those rocks are beginning to totter.
My thoughts sharply focus on the pending climb,
And I realize it’s become that time.
The sun’s rising fast,
The time for leaving has almost passed.
We won’t be cooking oatmeal,
Cause beating the storm’s, a big deal.
Our need to leave has now become real.
“Get up, pack your stuff, we’re leaving,” I shout.
“If we wanna beat the rain, we need to get out.”
“Just eat a snack,
While you get ready and pack,
We’ll do some cookin’ when we get back.”
“And zip up your tent, before we head out,
If you don’t and it rains things will get wet no doubt.”
After the flurry of action, we finally head out,
With the peak our goal, but without a route.
We cross the creek and see it’s full of trout,
And suddenly that’s all we’re thinking about.
We stop and talk about our goal for the day,
And decide it best to fish and stay.
Plus, avoiding the storm will help make it okay.
So, we turn around, and off we tramp,
From where we just left, it’s back to camp.
Once we get there, most get out their poles,
Then head back to the creek and the various fishing holes.
I stay behind and consider what’s changed,
And ponder the plan that’s been disarranged.
The climb to the top would’ve been fun,
Especially, that is, if the summit we won.
But the fish grabbed our attention,
And changed our intention.
As soon as we saw them, there was no more ascension.
And now here we are, on the banks of the creek,
Instead of climbing toward the peak.
We still have a “goal,” so to speak,
But it’s no longer the summit, it’s Brookies we seek.
Days are full of changes to plans,
Partly because there are so many cans.
Relish the moments, both subtle and profound,
Embrace all that happens and keep looking around.
There must’ve been close to 100 elk filling the valley below me, and I was astounded. I didn’t want to do anything to call attention to myself, so I just sat there quietly, peering over the boulder from afar. It was some sort of luck or fate that put me in that right place and at the right time, because getting into a position to see a big bunch of wild animals was not one of my goals for that day.