The Hiking of the Heliotrope
(an experiment in occasional iambic pentameter)

A nice day in Bellingham called for a hike,
"To the mountains!" we said with smiles;
It may surprise some I thought not of my bike,
But instead, of crowds and turnstiles.

Later I'd find that my thoughts had been muddled,
For no crowds were ever found;
But I get ahead of myself and leave the reader befuddled,
To charge that my words are unsound.

So we left before noon in Ana's red car,
With lunch wrapped in green cellophane;
Not one of us knew what would befall us afar,
And how through sheer will we'd stay sane.

The ranger in Glacier warned each the same,
"The black flies are out in full force."
One of the hikers, I won't mention his name,
Thought perhaps the group should change course.

We debated and talked about our direction,
But decided to face our fate;
Filled up our bottles with a water selection-
When hiking one needs to hydrate.

The road twisted and turned, and had a few holes,
But Ana was strong at the wheel;
We crept along quickly over bridges with trolls,
With hardly a bump or a squeal.

The ranger in Glacier had sold us a pass,
That he said would allow us to stop;
With my own eyes I saw there were no spots, alas,
And no sign of a local carhop.

Our driver's keen vision quickly found us a space,
I was truly amazed at her feat;
For the spot that she chose was small as a case,
And I quickly admitted defeat.

"No need to worry about a space such as this,"
Our driver said with a chuckle;
"I did it quite often, when driving to class,"
Though I thought I saw a white knuckle.

Out of the car we gulped fresh mountain air,
And noticed some local fauna;
Swarming around and getting caught in our hair,
Luckily for us we had Ana.

In her pack was a spray, a spray that smelled good,
To humans that is and not flies;
We used quite a bit walking about through the wood,
But it saved us from fly bites and cries.

Over the rivers and through the swarms,
We hiked around rocks and sticks;
Through perilous crossings and glacial forms,
We made it without cuts or nicks.

Once at the top we took time to eat lunch,
Mt. Baker looming up high;
We spent some time and soon had a hunch,
To start down and battle the flies.

The way down the trail was less of a chore,
And the flies seemed less of a threat;
In no time at all we made it back to the car,
Where a couple of wasps we met.

One wasp was dead, the other alive,
Emma knew what to do;
With green paper she shoved the wasp towards it's hive,
Where with a beat of it's wings it flew.

On the way back to Bellingham, the place where we started,
We ate some pizza and beer;
We sat in the shrine, curtains parted,
Had cookies with fortunes unclear.

Back in the Ham we finally arrived,
After a day well spent with friends;
And I thought to myself some words contrived,
To write about a trail's ascend.

And here it is, an experiment with rhyme,
With nonsensical musings in prose;
It could have been better with Tequila and lime,
But that's how it usually goes.

Scot Ranney
Aug, 2001

"Oh 'tis the scurby waddle which perbs the
slippant vumlop, or say the clig mullert."

Mambo Scrambe
est 1995, copyright © TM