Tricia Knoll of northern Vermont revisits a particularly traumatic day of summer camp in her poem, “Two Lessons Learned Climbing Mt. Ebert, Colorado’s Tallest Mountain,” excerpted here:

“We went down,
toes jamming into cheap Keds. We forded a stream
we had not crossed going up. The counselors said sit.
The leader guessed the stream route was a short cut.
Glacial run-off soaked our white cotton socks.
Don’t drink the water.
That stream started the blistering, flaying
skin-flapped feet. The counselors kept saying
we’ll be there soon—like untrustworthy parent-promises
on long car trips. We stopped singing Mountain Dew.
Dinner time came and went….”

To hear how it turns out, visit From the 2020 issue of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry, the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads.

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