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.