Hell’s Canyon

but the map says it’s here!
icicle creek
this is supposed to be icicle creek

I stared
at the cascading tumble of roasting rocks

what made you think icicles could exist in Hell’s Canyon?

but the map says…

maps say a lot of things
doesn’t mean you should trust them

no argument
after nine parched miles
10,000 anguished steps
past three dry gulches
the advertised water had not appeared
although, in fairness to the map
rattlesnake creek had partially lived up to it’s name

even weighted by a fifty pound pack
adrenalin had defied gravity
launching my ten foot leap
over the awakened, angry rattler

guess I should have filled more than one water bottle this morning

you think?
what’s the next creek called?

a drop of sweat splattered on the map

surprise

perfect

tio stib, 2016, from a thirsty memory

You might also enjoy : The Crossing, The Campfire

The challenge of Climbing Mountains

most think the challenge of climbing mountains
is reaching the top
sweating
aching
heart pounding
pushing past fear
step by step
to finally stand victorious
in the rare air
above the clouds of ordinary being
surrounded by distant views
of unclaimed summits

but
with each descending step
the real work begins
returning to the valley of everyday existence
the spirit begins to shrink
atrophy
for it can no longer be fed
by ordinary life

the real challenge of climbing mountains
is never surrendering the summits of our dreams
to stand alone
bold and free
with only mountaintops
for company

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy  Breaking Trail, Dead Horse Point 

Two Rivers

ahead
the canyon wall plunged
fell from the sea of sky
the river
dancing from shadow to sunlight
promising a new world
vanished

the rapid exploded

bouncing
white water splashes
rainbow mist
giggles
screams

the raft was spit
into beyond

and she was there
clear, quiet, confident
two rivers
two lifetimes
flowing
swirling
joining
at last

together

a shared smile
two travelers
now one

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy  Life Is Like a Broken Egg, Veiled Vision

The Wave

he watched the wave break
surge up the empty sand
surround surprised toes
sending shivers up his spine
awakening a dormant mind

then silence
the wave fell back
disappeared into eternity
and he wondered
about his life

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy High on Gratitude, Desert of Dreams