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Behind the Grindstone: Jackson Mountain

By Bill Bunting

July 5, 2023

I decided to take ‘Ole Cheryl to visit the place the boys and I had made our hunting camp for several years. It had been many years since I had been there but was expecting it to be the same. It was in such a rugged location I somehow didn’t think civilization would find it.

He’d told her stories of the mountains
He had roamed in days of old
And she patiently listened
To the stories that he told

He had told of Jackson Mountain
And a trail so rough and steep
It was low range four wheel drive
In that 46 Willys Jeep

To get to their campsite
At the end of the trail
Though it had to dig and claw to get there
That old Jeep would never fail

To get them to the clearing
With the timber all around
Where they pitched their army surplus tent
And rolled their bedrolls on the ground

And they cooked their meals on a campfire
At night sat ‘round the same
Watchin’ sparks fly in the darkness
Or just starin’ at the flame

Just soakin’ in the quiet
And the crisp cool mountain air
As time seemed to slow or stop
And life was without a care

The mountain here was quiet
With no one else around
Surrounded there by nature
Never heard a man made sound

Well the years have passed, seems so fast
And so has most of the crew
He hadn’t been to the mountain
Since nineteen eighty two

So he thought he’d take her to the place
He’d loved for so long
A place where peace and quiet reigned
And nature sang her song

So they turned off on the now paved road
That would lead them to the trail
Through crowded new housing
Must be like livin’ in a jail

But the pavement never ended
It just kept going smooth and wide
It seemed part of his life
Just withered up and died

And there where they’d pitched their tent
And rolled their bedrolls on the ground
There where their campfire glowed at nighttime
As they listened to natures sound

Was a big paved parking lot
Full of automobiles
And he’d have a hard time explainin’
The way that he now feels

There’s a sign with rules and regulations
And the price you’ll have to pay
As he thinks of the freedom
He had back in the day

All this is part of progress
It’s improvement we are told
But both he and the mountain
Would rather have the days of old

At least, that’s the view here from behind the grindstone.