High Country Calling


With apologies to John Masefield

High Country Fever

I must go into the hills again, to the tall peaks and the sky,
And all I ask is a clear day and the sun to travel by,
An open road and the wind’s song and the autumn’s waking,
And a grey mist on the vale’s face, and a pink dawn breaking.

I must go into the hills again, for the call of the mountainside
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a freshened breeze with the white clouds flying,
And the pine’s sigh and the stream’s song, and the eagle’s crying.

I must go into the hills again, to the wondrous mountain life,
To the elk’s way and the hawk’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a wagging tail from a faithful fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long day’s over.


My thoughts tonight are with Estes Park, Colo., a small mountain town struggling to recover from recent floods. The town is heavily dependent on tourism, and tonight’s government shutdown closes Rocky Mountain National Park, the town’s primary attraction. The park’s closing includes its Trail Ridge Road, one of only two roads open to Estes since the floods. With winter fast approaching, and snow already falling at higher elevations, Estes is left with only one road out (approx. 75 miles) to I-70 and the rest of the state.


10 thoughts on “High Country Calling

  1. Thank you, PT, for this posting. The poem’s images are beautiful and comforting in the face of the depressing shutdown realities. Estes is strong and will make it back. Now leaving for work; no paycheck again till ???, unlike the legislators….

    1. Oh Karen, I’m so sorry to hear you are one of the many having to pay a price so the games can continue in Washington. It’s lawmakers who should have to pay first and most for their lack of responsibility. Maybe, in the next election, some of them finally will.

  2. I love how you reworked that great poem PT, and I’m madder than I can possibly express at those a-holes in Washington. Estes has a good friend in you and I hope that mountain spirit helps get them through this mess…

    1. Thanks. I’m angry too, too angry for words, and very, very sad. At least it’s been announced locally that FEMA workers and the National Guard people who are helping with flood recovery will stay on the job.

  3. Beautiful post. So sorry to hear this. I enjoyed my time in CO last week. I was up in Vail, but have been to many of the area towns over the years. It is so clean and well cared for. I hope Estes Park gets on its feet again soon.

... and that's my two cents