Crazy times |

Crazy times

Common ground
Bill Kight
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Have you ever had a friend crazier than you? There’s a chance I may go on a hike to the Pawnee Buttes in a couple of weeks with such a friend.

My crazy friend and I enjoy time together in the wild. He is more anti-social than me, but it doesn’t matter since no one else dares to go with us on our outdoor trips.

The basis of our companionship is complicated, as are most long-lasting relationships in life.

There are those qualities present in my buddy which are important in friendships ” such as trust, integrity, dependability, a good sense of humor, etc. But it goes deeper than that.

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We both like the same ruff-and-tumble nature kind of poetry, which we like to read around the campfire. Frank likes my poems and I like his.

Sometimes we will read a favorite passage from a good book of prose or poetry. Often we gift our books to each other with a short but poignant inscription such as, “Thanks for your bright, gentle and humorous spirit … “

Knowing I grew up on the Great Plains, I received a copy of “Magpie Rising, Sketches from the Great Plains,” by Merrill Gilfillan. I’m not quite finished reading it, hanging on to the words as long as I can.

One time we were headed for the Pawnee Buttes but never made it. Out of nowhere a deer jumped out in front of us. It died instantly when it hit the grill of the old International Scout we always ride on our adventures.

We pulled over, inspected the lack of damage to the Scout and dragged the deer off the Interstate. The next thing we did was to call the State Patrol. When the trooper arrived, he issued a game license to us so we could salvage the meat.

Considering this an omen, we decided to head for a closer destination.

Trying to describe the old vehicle to you would take a column or two, and I would probably still not be able to adequately tell of its true meaning and glory.

We don’t go off-road mud-bogging destroying habitat and scaring off all the wildlife within a hundred miles. No, the old International Scout’s purpose is to get us close enough to where we want to go to call it good.

That’s not to say we haven’t been in some gnarly places and over some unforgiving four-wheel drive roads.

Some folks say it’s not life’s destinations which are important, it’s the journey. Well, I’d have to say it’s both.

Camped out in the middle of nowhere, waking up with a little frost on your sleeping bag and birds singing up the sun is about as good as it gets.

I can’t say I’m totally enamored with Frank’s cooking, but he would probably say the same thing about my culinary skills. Of course we all know just about anything tastes good when you’re camping, even oatmeal.

Pawnee Buttes, here we come. Springtime in the Rockies. Bring it on.

With more than 30 years of experience in federal land management agencies, Bill Kight, of Glenwood Springs, has shared his stories with readers for more than 15 years. Bill’s column appears once per month, on the second Saturday of the month, in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

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