Berthoud Pass – My older brother Dane and I it would seem once we are together that life in general becomes a tad more exciting than what most folks are accustomed to. I guess I would not want it any different. This is another ode to that special brother bond.
Cowboy Poetry – Berthoud Pass
My brother Dane had a Toyota Land Cruiser in the mid-seventies – back in the day,
We used it for 4 –wheeling in the remote mountains of our Colorado get-a-way.
That Land Cruiser was the color of burnt red like they painted them back then,
Took the Cruiser to the mountains, because we thought we were mountain men.
It had a railroad track bumper for knocking down trees and more than a few dents,
But, it was not the ugliness of this beast that brought about this mountain pass event.
In this tale we went to the mountains to do some winter survival snow shoeing,
Young and dimwitted we did not care that a mountain winter storm was brewing.
Loaded up the Cruiser with snow shoes and rations really late and well after dark,
Our friend Roger, my brother Dane and I thought we were ready to embark.
With Wild Turkey whiskey and beer we pointed that red Toyota towards the west,
With winter mountain fun and wilderness adventure as our goal and our only quest.
Roger was driving since my brother Dane was hung over from the night before,
“Wake me up if we go over the edge” Dane said in the back as he started to snore.
Berthoud Pass road was icy and snow packed and the wind was colder than hell,
Now if that was the end of the story this would be a damn boring poetic tale.
I was in the passenger seat because I was 16 and the youngest of the three,
The snow got heavy and thicker as we headed up Berthoud Pass, Roger and I would agree.
Have to say in this tale that our friend Roger was being careful as he could be,
We ventured up the curvy mountain pass – the snow was so thick we couldn’t see.
At 15 MPH Roger kept the Cruiser between the drop off cliff and the snowbank,
We were doing fine until a van passed us doing 60 and that was built like a tank.
We watched that van pass us like we were standing still with young men’s desire,
Roger looked as he had been dared and then the speedometer went higher and higher.
Roger now with a smile and, “I am going to pass that freaking van look in his eye!”
Now riding with a man possessed – now at 60 MPH I knew I was going to die.
Up and over the top of Berthoud Pass we never did catch that freaking van,
The red Toyota started to spin and spin – I knew this was not part of the plan.
I swear during the three – 360 degree spins that we encountered – that time stood still,
As the spinning plastered my face to the Cruiser window – Roger I wanted to kill.
Round after round – mountain cliff – then snowbank – I almost crapped my pants,
The steering wheel went this way – then that way with an out of control dance.
During all that red Toyota spinning Roger and I shared 3 times the same seat,
Knowing at the end of the spins the Specter of Death we were going to meet.
I almost thank God that the snow was so heavy I could not see the 1000 foot drop,
Finally slamming backwards into the mountain snowbank we came to a sudden stop,
Roger and I sucked up the snot that had spun out of our noses in the ride of the insane,
Dane woke up, “What just happened?” – Roger and I spoke as one- “Shut the f**k up Dane!!”
Kurt James © 2017
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