A Short Poetic ChronicleTwo State Highpoints (Wheeler Peak, NM, and Humphreys Peak, AZ)
September 10-12, 2008
Lee, Brent & Moogie737
So you want to bag a couple of peaks –
State highpoints, no less, by the book;
You hatch out a plan without any leaks
And give it a thorough, tough look.
We did, we bid Salt Lake “goodbye” before dawn
With Taos our goal on the map;
First Moab, then Cortez, then Shiprock – press on!.
Checking out the TH the night before.
The driver dare not take a nap!
The Land of Enchantment was sunny and dry,
At Taos we checked out the trail.
The Williams Lake route the next day we’d try.
Would fair summer weather prevail?
The Days Inn provided a nice, comfy room;
We ate and hit the sack early
‘Cause the very next day a 13er would loom
And a path at times straight, at times curly.
We started the climb at twenty past six,
Dawn breaking and splendid clear skies;
Lee & the Phoenix Grill, the lift & and Bavarian.
We marched south through forest, past meadows – a mix,
This merry, small troupe of three guys.
The trail broke east just north of the lake,
Plunged into the woods and got steep;
Just before the lake the trail turns east.
And then we were struck with the slog we would make –
Our pace would soon slow to a creep.
But somehow we made those 2,000 feet
To a saddle just short of the top;
And there we turned right – Wheeler’s summit looked sweet.
Our efforts had not been for naught.
A windbreak of rock, a shiny bronze plaque
At the top on Patriot Day.
O’er a register big, like a pipe.
We took in the views before heading back.
(Mt. Walter for bagging was ripe.)
In less than ten minutes peak two was deemed “done,”
We hustled to get our butts down.
Wasting no time it seemed lots of fun
On our faces no hint of a frown.
The round trip had eaten up less than four hours,
“One down and one high point to go!”
But this was no day to stop and smell flowers,
We could not afford to go slow.
Piled in the car we drove I-40 west
Through Gallup and Holbrook with ease.
At the wilderness register for Humphreys Peak.
In Flagstaff near six, we didn’t feel stressed –
We felt good in our legs and our knees.
The next morning early we sped in the dark
To mile marker two twenty-two,
Turned right for the Snowbowl, the place we would park,
And set out to be “two for two.”
Imbued with the spirit – “Kachina” they say,
We hiked to the saddle, no sweat;
Day #2, highpoint #2.
Dealt with false summits named one, two and three,
Then high-fived on top – you bet!
The heavens were blue, the breezes quite light,
The ammo box register full.
The summit of Humphreys felt good and just right –
We’d been blessed, and that was no bull.
We dared not stay topside too long, oh, no,
A good place to start and finish.
We had to start heading for home.
So we hurried on down thinking “go-go-go-go.”
From the main trail we tried not to roam.
Once back at our car we took off each boot
And toasted our luck several times.
We didn’t do badly, (we didn’t look cute)
But that’s how it goes in long rhymes.
We jumped in the car and grabbed us some food,
In Flag and took eighty-nine north.
The home stretch brought smiles and bright, cheerful mood,
We were tired, so dry roads had worth.
The miles whizz’d past quickly, nine hours on the road,
Then home at ten bells, safe and sound.
The mountains had called and we’d carried the load:
Two highpoints were not lost but found!
And that’s how we did it – believe me, it’s true;
It took sixty hours plus five.
The miles? Nineteen hundred (two C-notes per guy),
And the dream continues – alive!