To get to the end the very end let it all go let it go
foam piles up on a pair of lips
moss grows thick on an ancient road
a wooden horse flashes through the clouds
a clay ox thunders beneath the waves
a clear moonlit night amid ten thousand snowy peaks
a hidden scent says spring has reached the winter plum
translated by Red Pine in The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse
High Plains Driftin’
Dawn comes early in the Basin with only faint wrinkles of mountains at the horizon. Yesterday had been unusually overcast, blocking the direct heat of the sun. This mornings scattered clouds promised a cool morning, but a hot afternoon. Best to set out in the stillness and cool of the morning.
The road is mostly soft sand with a variety of textures: washboarded at times, potholes here there, bit loose rocks now and again. But overall I was able to move through the barren empty bowl. Clouds always form in the afternoon and there ended up only being a gap around noon where the direct sun beat down. The winds played with me all day as well, gentle in the morning, picking up energy in the afternoon. There wasn’t much life out here, a few birds, antelope now and again, even the cows are widely dispersed seeking for the sparse grass.
Reaching a reservoir that the Agriculture dept maintains mid afternoon, it was hot, but the sky dotted with clouds would sometimes shield you from the direct sun. By evening the winds really picked up and with a peel of thunder rains began. It would clear up again before sunset the ragged skies brining a bold beauty to the setting sun.
Around midnight a powerful storm swept in with driving rain and howling winds. Many lightning strikes and echoing thunder for nearly an hour. Dawn over the reservoir was a like fire forming amidst ragged clouds. The reservoir with faint ripples from the early wind edged in the glow of dawn. Again a day with a smattering of clouds and winds already. An early start once again I moved across the basin with good energy.
The sand was hard packed and easy riding even moving into the wind. But it wasn’t long before I reached this lonely stretch of paved road that crossed this portion of the Great Divide Basin. This was easy going, the winds sometimes with me for many miles. This road, Mineral X. Road, ended at a major highway that climbed up over 7100′ to cross the Continental Divide. Then it was mostly downhill to Rawlins, where I stayed the night and replenished supplies for the next haul.
where under scattered
clouds is there
but shadows moving
ripples at the horizon
point toward the
the deep blue
between roiling clouds
is what you will