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Backwoods Boy

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2,739 Is My Ego Showing?

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About Backwoods Boy

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  • Location
    Columbia River Gorge
  • Interests
    Hiking, Reading, Writing, Trail Maintenance Volunteer

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  1. Backwoods Boy


    Thanks much for your observations. I looked at the location you shared on your profile, and yes, we're not far apart with respect to geography. I retired to the same area where I spent my teenage years. They say one can't go home again - home is a time as well as a place - but one can certainly still be nourished by the original roots.
  2. Thanks for your observations, Jeffrey. I have enjoyed AC's lessons, but I'm now far behind. Too many other things to pursue during the summer. I hope to try more poetry next fall.
  3. Backwoods Boy


    Have fun with the idea, Brayon. I'll be interested in the results. Incidentally, my two anthology suggestions were ideas that rolled out while writing this.
  4. Backwoods Boy


    Thanks, Parker. Sixty years ago, I took walks like this with my uncle, who is largely responsible for my love of nature.
  5. Backwoods Boy


    Thanks, tim. It was a day of "reflection" in the woods - and a bit of melancholy.
  6. In the summer sun, the fourteen-year-old boy walks with the old man, sixty years his senior, through a woodland familiar to both. The boy wears blue jeans and tennis shoes, but the old man has added a hat, and he wears hiking boots for greater stability. He also carries a walking stick, which he will need on the steep hillside and in the creek bed. The boy looks for the tree house he once tried to build, though he realizes he didn't have the skill or materials to do it right. The old man tells him the tree has been cut down to protect the power lines, and he will build other things in his lifetime. They cannot find the wide deer trails which once were there, and they have difficulty navigating the dense brush on the steep hillside. The old man's walking stick is useful, and the boy helps find the way to a dirt road. As they walk along enjoying the wild blackberries, the boy finds a small piece of petrified wood. The old man tells him that once there was much more, but he is happy the boy has found at least this piece of the past. At the rock outcropping which forms the northwest corner of his parents' property, the boy and the man look down the steep slope at the boy's home. The trees have grown, and the house and outbuildings are nearly invisible. A cool breeze flows down the creek bed. The teenager bounds from rock to rock, but the old man proceeds with more caution. He smiles as the boy jumps into a cold pool and submerges himself, surfacing with a grin. As the boy dries in the sun, the two sit together on a fallen log and consider the past and present. This is the same place, but again it is not. Time and more than four thousand inches of rainfall have changed it. They both have the same values, but the old man has a different view on how to live those values, and a little cynicism borne of experience. They talk quietly, enjoying the music of the creek. As the old man thinks back, year by year, on the importance of nature in his life, the boy contemplates returning to catch the trout he sees in the pool. The old man remembers a song that the boy once sang in the high school choir, a song they both know explains the importance of this place: Wondrous cool, thou woodland quiet, Thee a thousand times I greet; Far away from rush and riot, Ah, thy soothing sounds are sweet,. Dreaming on thy mossy carpet, Here is rest and peace 'Tis as if, beneath thy shadows, All my cares and troubles cease.*
  7. Thanks, tim. Correct on not remembering the good times and dwelling on the bad ones. Today, one of the visitors I had helped came back a few minutes later and put a donation in the volunteer association jar because I "...was so entertaining". I'll probably remember that one for a while.
  8. Excellent story, tim. I've recently been volunteering at the visitor center help desk at a nearby international tourist attraction. Working with people in this context is NOT something I've done all my life, and it's great to be able to provide visitors with the information they need to optimize the enjoyment of their vacations. We also have some visitors who are loudly unhappy about the horrible traffic situation in this over-used area or about not being able to access some areas because of a 50,000 acre fire we had a couple years ago. We had some of those complainers on Wednesday, and I was glad to get the hell out of there at the end of my shift. Your story put a smile on my face for the start of today's shift and reminded me why I should still be smiling at the end of the day.
  9. Backwoods Boy

    Chapter 41

    Excellent, as always. From other comments, I'm glad I've waited for the rewrite.
  10. First point: Real civility in politics begins with the leadership, and that has been missing for at least three decades, traceable to a specific individual. Second point: Look carefully. All of the buzz-words above are politically loaded and totally lacking in the civility this post purports to promote.
  11. The words will come In their own time When least expected
  12. Happy Birthday!

    See the source image


    I always think of this picture when I think of you!  Wishing you a very special birthday!


    1. Backwoods Boy

      Backwoods Boy

      Thanks!  Mt. Hood from Lost Lake.  :)


    2. Daddydavek


      Yep! I've never been there, but still dream of a long driving summer vacation starting in early May leaving St. Louis and taking Interstate 44 southwest heading out west all the way to California and then heading north and looping back to St. Louis by the end of September....with stops at all the beautiful places including the Grand Canyon, the towering red woods, Yosemite and then up to Mt. Hood and then heading east to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore and then heading southeast back to home.  I just may do it one of these years too!

    3. Backwoods Boy

      Backwoods Boy

      From California, get to Portland at least and then head east on I-84, arriving at Mt. Hood via the Columbia River Gorge.  Multnomah Falls is a prime spot to see, but there is a lot more.  So says he who lives here. :) 

  13. Happy birthday!

    1. Backwoods Boy

      Backwoods Boy

      Thanks. :) 

  14. BB, I was hoping to be first out of the starting gate, but @Brayon had the faster steed. Oh wells, the sentiment does not diminish in the slightest. 

    Happy Birthday, dear friend. I hope you have a wonderful day... :) 


    1. Backwoods Boy

      Backwoods Boy

      I love it!  Thanks so much.  I had an invitation to hike today, but I have a prior commitment that is almost as good - I'm doing public relations for the Pacific Crest Trail Association at an event in town here today, prior to a cherry pie event at my neighbor's place. :) 

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