On Sunday morning
at nine,
when low-lying clouds
still hovered above
the vaulted cathedral of trees,
we gathered
at the trailhead,
coaxing old jackets to zip
and tying well-worn boots
caked with technicolor dirt.

We three hiked,
for a million miles
it seemed,
tramping on rocks and mud
and shriveled leaves of faded glory,
weaving between maples and firs
sweater’d cozily against the clime
by delicate moss of neon green.

Higher and higher
we ascended
til the clouds receded
and the sun shown through
brown boughs,
illuminating the trail we trod.

At the summit,
we rested and communed,
sharing sandwiches and water
while gazing down at the I-84
as it snaked beside the Columbia.

rising as one,
unzipping jackets and
discarding hats from heads matted with sweaty hair,
we trekked back down
to the beginning.

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