Late October


Was behind the mountains where we used to catch fish in the streams. Where we sipped the cold water from the spring beside the trail. How we used to look forward to it on a hot day after exploring the back country, or hunting for deer and elk, sometimes we only came home with chicken. I remember thinking, if it wasn’t for all these damn trees I’d be able to see something to shoot at.


Now the trees are large and I wonder sometime if they were always there. Every trip it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Same as the ridges, the way the light hits them. It’s cold in the creek bottom, dark and icy, but those ridges basked in the last light look mighty inviting.

I don’t go far, never have, there is still plenty of ridges, I haven’t walked, without ruck or crowd, right under my nose. Tamarack, old, hard, and twisted. Scree slopes, waterfalls, fish behind rocks, mountains that change depending on the light, enough for 10 lifetimes if you had four sets of eyes.


It’s getting chilly. The snow is on the mountains. You could die if you break your ankle, freeze if you fall through the ice, get lost in the crooks and crags, too scared to move in the dark.


Who needs a jet plane to explore? When you can count on the stars.

9 thoughts on “Late October

    1. underswansea

      Yes, but those places are everywhere, on city streets and in the suburbs, it’s what a person is connected to. Most times it is generational, the place our parents grew up, the connection we feel. Mountains, fields and city streets are places that people grow up. None should be romanticized over the other. There is plenty of people from the city being buried out here because they spent 2 weeks a year in the family cabin. I feel sorry they didn’t find their place where they spent the majority of their lives. They must have loved it to spend their lives there. It’s hard to believe but true, tourists have made a loaf a bread and a gallon of gas more expensive and a decent grave unattainable for most people who have grown up here.


    1. underswansea

      You can get lost in a creek bottom and break an ankle in the dark and die. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be a bad way to go. 🙂


      1. mountaincoward

        Actually, hypothermia is supposed to be about the best way to go as your brain gives up pretty early on and you don’t know much about it after that. And at least you’d be in a peaceful place with great scenery 😉


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