~ Flagstaff Arizona ~

~

Flagstaff

.

Thirty miles north of Sedona

lives the summer homes

of most desert dwellers, and the shadow

of Arizona’s highest peak.

.

We’d come to ‘Flag’ to climb Mt. Humpheys

the day of rest before

found us lolly-gagging around

easily paved tourist attractions that left

us feeling empty.

.

We ate across the tracks before the train

bisected the city again

a hipster town, complete with

a university from the

historic landmarks

old hotels where New Years Eve

parties were spent watching

the pine cone drop

outside the Weatherford Hotel.

.

Humphreys began at the low pine spread

easy, slow switch-backs in the Aspen forest

a bright green fern floor before the tall

white legs

.

Careful steps climb for two-thirds of the way

watching roots and rock trip your feet

until knee lifts climb you the

last tired third to the top

the sand and lava rock tundra

of a volcano we can make out

at the peak, over the rock scramble

blew one million years ago.

.

A live hive by the top

small hungry flies at 12,000 feet

mountains south of us were draped in pines

a soft carpet of Aspen lies in the valley

crooks below the mountain.

~

~

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