Tour 2019 – Day 27

I hiked staff in hand beyond the pines
and found myself on an emerald peak
a flock of cranes were chasing a hawk
tree shadows darkened the streams
thorns made wild fruit hard to pick
their scent made herbs easy to find
thin smoke veiled the sinking sun
red leaves shaded half the cliff

translated by Red Pine in The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse

Where the jackalope roam
I rode south of of Rawlins and would proceed south most of the day. Again the sky was painted with streaks of white that blocked the direct sun most of the day. A long stretch out of town on paved roads. Riding along I look over and there is a large rattlesnake sunning itself on the side of the road. I stop and take it’s picture, but it shakes it rattle at me and slithers way. After a spell the road is supposed to turn to gravel but had been paved just last summer. But that old gravel road kept its character of steep, straight climbs right over the rolling hills. To the west was a krinkly ridge that the Continental Divide ran upon. I would climb up those straight steep hills to just over 8000′ and cross the Divide.

The Continental Divide runs on this ridge

The plateau I was on was interesting in that it had deep wells, that I’d dive into and steep climbs out. There were these pocket in the hills side, shaded from sun, that still had dirty patches of snow. The pattern of diving into creek valleys and climbing out continued for many miles until finally the pavement ran out, gravel began and I entered a forest. Trees! How I have missed them. Mostly aspen who’s quaking in the persistent wind always brings a cooling feeling. The road kept climbing and diving into creek valleys.

Descending into the Little Snake River Valle

After a long climb out of the Big Sandstone Creek river valley, up to near 8500′, things flattened out and rode through Aspen Alley. A stand of old, and dying, aspen on a narrow stretch of dirt road it was both welcome shade and a lovely passage through this reminder of the impermanence of all things. Past the alley I climbed back up to a paved road and descended into the Little Snake River Valley. It got hotter and hotter as I descended. Finally at a bend in the Little Snake River there was a humble campground, where I would stay this night. Riding into the Campground I crossed into Colorado. Colorado! While the road I’ll be back on tomorrow is in WY for a short stretch, I have made it to CO.

what else can we
in the clouds
but the temporary
nature of things
drifting like human
lives the clouds
have no illusions
that it is their
that pushes them from place
to place
rain falls and then
just fade into
the deep blue

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