Mountain Man

Mountain Man

Painting by Alfredo Rodriquez
Painting by Alfredo Rodriquez

I was a man born out of time and a century or two too late, I should have been a Mountain Man. Growing up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in a time before video games, cell phones and iPads was a learning experience that kids nowadays will never know. We played outside until the sun went down and our mothers would shout out from the front steps for us to come home. Summer nights were filled with, hide and seek, and kick the can. Summer days were filled with riding your bikes, exploring the outer regions of your neighborhood and beyond with your best friends. Shooting BB guns, fishing, tubing, catching crawdads and guppies were our everyday events. More often than not we would pitch tents and camp out and watch the stars hoping to catch a shooting star. My friends and I would tell tales of ancient times of bravery and honor of those that walked our mountains before us. Our heroes were mountain men. Men like Hugh Glass, Jim Bridger, William Sublette, Jim Beckworth, and Jedediah Smith.

As a youngster there were two things that changed how I would forever look at the world. The first was I read Jack Londons “Call Of The Wild.” The second was a movie starring Robert Redford “Jeremiah Johnson.” Jack London and Robert Redford cemented my love for all things wild and good ole’ mother nature. The poem below is my salute to the mountain men that dared go where no man had gone before.

Photo by Kurt James of Midnight Wind Photography
Photo by Kurt James of Midnight Wind Photography

“Mountain Man”
Rocky Mountains spoke to him, saying his name,
Packed his Hawkins rifle, headed there to lay his claim.

Indians fought, pelts to trap, weather to tame,
Many years passed a Mountain Man he became.

Freezing rain, harsh winter, waist deep snow,
Cold temperature and frost bite took many a toe.

Scars on his scalp from a female panther swipe,
All alone, no give up in the man, he wasn’t the type.

More years passed, winters seemed longer,
Wishing for the time, younger and stronger.

Never once thinking about heading down below,
No way in hell, leave his loved mountain plateau.

His 40th winter, he died, gave it his all, everything he was worth,
Living the life he chose, Rocky Mountain marrow of the earth.
By Kurt James

Kurt James © 2016

Kurt James novel “Rocky Mountain Reckoning” is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Walmart and many other stores that carry the books you love to read.

Kurt James "Rocky Mountain Reckoning"
Kurt James “Rocky Mountain Reckoning”

Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt James naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt James has become one of Colorado's prominent nature photographer's through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt James Reifschneider is also a feature writer for Hubpages and Creative Exiles with the article's focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L'amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt's natural ability as a story teller. Kurt James "Colorado Clarity" a photography and poetry book was published 4 years ago and in 2016 Kurt James published his first novel "Rocky Mountain Reckoning" and his 2nd and new novel "Rocky Mountain Retribution" was released in December of 2016.

Latest posts by Kurt James (see all)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt James naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt James has become one of Colorado's prominent nature photographer's through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt James Reifschneider is also a feature writer for Hubpages and Creative Exiles with the article's focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L'amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt's natural ability as a story teller. Kurt James "Colorado Clarity" a photography and poetry book was published 4 years ago and in 2016 Kurt James published his first novel "Rocky Mountain Reckoning" and his 2nd and new novel "Rocky Mountain Retribution" was released in December of 2016.

13 thoughts on “Mountain Man

  • November 11, 2016 at 7:31 AM
    Permalink

    It is good to have you back on board, Kurt. This is a wonderful post which I can relate to. The first novel I read was Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” and then the sequel “White Fang”. I remember the movie “Jeremiah Johnson” with Robert Redford too, and did a lot of the same things as you as a kid. “The Man from Snowy River” the poem by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson and later the movie were an inspiration to me, though I never lived in the Snowy Mountains region it was set. I enjoyed your poem also.

    Reply
    • November 11, 2016 at 7:55 AM
      Permalink

      Thanks John and it is good to be back… White Fang was another great book for a kid like me and so it seems you. I did not realize “The Man from Snowy River” was on a poem and I assure you I will be reading it today. Thanks for that tad bit of info.

      Reply
  • November 11, 2016 at 7:33 AM
    Permalink

    My gosh, Kurt, as growing up stuff you did the same things my brothers and I did. You brought back a lot of memories for me. I love your poem. Mountain men were a different breed. I have read a lot about them, including the ones you mention. I wrote an article on Hugh Glass – that man had nine lives, remarkable. Call of The Wild was the first real book I read in 7th grade. Great work here, Kurt. Welcome back.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2016 at 8:47 AM
    Permalink

    Yes, just my novel is, go to amazon and google “Rocky Mountain Reckoning” or Kurt James… my second novel should be available in the next 30 days my authors proof will be mailed to me today or tomorrow…….My photography book ‘Colorado Clarity” is available on Blurb, but not for long and am switching publishers soon with that one…

    Reply
  • November 12, 2016 at 2:33 PM
    Permalink

    Very enjoyable read and your childhood sounds a whole lot like mine. Almost like heaven, huh?

    Reply
    • November 12, 2016 at 3:24 PM
      Permalink

      Almost like heaven? It is funny you say that, at the time you never realize it and until those days are long gone. Heaven sounds like a good description. If your childhood had some of those some memories than you are just as lucky. Thanks for stopping by Jackie

      Reply
  • November 13, 2016 at 1:59 AM
    Permalink

    kurt, I grew up in Indiana — no mountains there. But a couple of years ago I had the opportunity to work for six months in Missoula, Montana. It was a magical time in my life. Every weekend was a different hike with my backpack and gear into the canyons of the Bitterroot mountains, the backcountry of Glacier NP and the wild places of Jewel Basin. I can appreciate the childhood you enjoyed. Great poem. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2016 at 5:37 AM
      Permalink

      Chris, thanks for stopping by and leaving those kind words. MY hope for you was that in those 6 months you were able to enjoy an autumn in the high country. I have been to Glacier and what a wonderful place. The Rocky Mountains are nothing short of awe inspiring to me. I have a very good friend that lives in Indiana and I need to go visit her some day, she says there are plenty of covered bridges there for me to partake in some photography.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

Our cookie settings are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. By continuing to browse this website you are accepting our cookie policy.

Close