Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fiftymile Mountain

October, and I awake atop Fiftymile Mountain, southern Utah. We hiked up the evening before, up the great east-facing scarp that overlooks the canyons of the Escalante River. No trucks, no ATVs, you can only get here by foot, or horse, or mule. We camp near a spring, water trickling out of a pipe into a trough. There is a cabin. It belongs to Mary ... I don't know her last name, but she ran cattle here for years. Now the mountain is part of a National Monument and she fights the BLM. She's a tough gal. Three husbands. One fell off of his horse on the trail, struck his head on a rock. One she shooed away with a shotgun. The third probably had sense enough to just leave. The cabin is quiet. Aspens are turning gold in fields of sagebrush, an unusual sight. In four days we see two people, father and son, hunting mule deer the old-fashioned way ... walking, in dust-covered Filsons.

my new boots
fill with cheatgrass;
sticks to cows, too

return trip--
I share the warm truck
with a fly


Blogger Jim Collette said...

Readers, sorry, my screen shows question marks instead of dashes, apostrophes. A problem with copying in from Word, perhaps! Jim

Sat Sep 23, 07:08:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Gerald England said...

I always recommend people use a text editor [like notepad] rather than a word-processor for email and for postings such as these.

I've edited it for you [correctly I hope]. Word is one of the worst offenders when it comes to using proprietory non-compatible formating -- especially those awful curly quotes!

Sat Sep 23, 08:40:00 pm GMT  
Blogger polona said...

enjoyed your hike, jim!

Sat Sep 23, 10:01:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Jim Collette said...

Thanks, Gerald, for the good advice, and the edits. And gracias, Polona.


Sun Sep 24, 02:51:00 am GMT  
Blogger Alan Summers said...

Hi Jim, and thanks to Gerald!

I really liked the haibun. It's a casual looking style of writing that I feel must have either been well-crafted and edited, or you just got one of those natural gifts.

I liked the way you broke some of the sentences up into either very short ones, or shortish sentences.

She's a tough gal. Three husbands.

I enjoyed the laidback haiku, that last line:

sticks to cows, too

It's perfect. I don't think just anyone could do that, and still have a good haiku part of the haibun! ;-)

The second and last haiku works perfect too, finalising the haibun.

Thank you!

Sun Sep 24, 05:12:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Jim Collette said...

Alan, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I have a journalism background and have always favored the haibun form. I'd like to think I can enjoy a haiku on its own merits, without the context, but I got into writing haiku after reading Basho's journals, and it has stuck with me. Enjoy the fall!...Jim

Tue Sep 26, 04:11:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Alan Summers said...

Thanks Jim, I will! Fall/Autumn seems to be starting today where I am. ;-)

Wed Sep 27, 06:15:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Tristie hearts Dax said...

I found the memories of your trip to fiftymile mountain while searching for info. It is a place that has always intrigued me. I must make a trip. Maybe to hunt mule deer the old fashioned way?


Tue Dec 15, 04:01:00 am GMT  

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