Poetry Travel

Humphreys Peak, Flagstaff

It hovers over the city dwellers, peeking around city buildings, train travelers, and from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.



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 pinecone drop

outside 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.

Climbing Humphreys