Tour 2019 – Day 14

Laments of the Gorges

Death-owls call in human voices. Dragons
wolf down heaving mountain waters. Here

in broad daylight, with all the enticing
serenity of a clear and breezy sky, they

beggar wisdom, snarling everything alive
in fetid gatherings of vine-covered depths.

Want filling fanged cascades bottomless,
sawtooth froth swells everywhere. Nesting

birds can’t settle in trees tilted so askew,
trees gibbons leaping and swinging fill.

Who can welcome laments of the gorges,
gorges saying What will come will come.

-Meng Chiao
translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home

Mountains and Waters
This day would only be on a couple of roads, all dirt strewn with large loose rocks. First working my way out of Lima up to the dam and reservoir behind it. The large expanse of water revealed a longing in me–I must go to the mountains but my heart/mind is always on the water. Mountains and Waters, that is the best. Past the reservoir the winds really kicked up and when I crossed the Centennial Valley, as flat as it was it was like riding a steep grade.

Lima reservoir

I rode down for may miles in the heat of the day along the southern walls of the valley. But Lo! a wetland and then a shallow lake appeared in the valley and I entered the Red Rocks Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. There were Trees! And birds everywhere. I camped at the upper Red Rocks Lake below a rocky facade and just up from the lake. Bird calls both familiar and very unfamiliar. The sun set right behind the lake, achingly beautiful. At night I heard my old friend the Great Horned Owl.

Red Rocks above the campgro7nd


winds cut right through
the high sun burns
incomprehensible calls
under towering cliffs
red glow of the sun
sinking behind
shadow mountains
reflected in the
wind tossed

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