RapidCreek Outfitters

Poetry and Prose



  • Grand Canyon /Southwest
  • Exploration of the Colorado River of the West by John Wesley Powell
  • Everett Ruess "Vagabond for Beauty" by W.L. Rusho
  • Beyond the Hundredth Meridian" by Wallace Stegner

Wilderness Song

by Everett Ruess

I have been one who loved the wilderness
Swaggered and softly crept among the mountain peaks
I have listened long to the seas brave music,
I have sung my songs above the shriek of desert winds.
On canyon trails when warm nights winds were blowing,
Blowing and sighing through the star tipped pines,
Musing, I walked behind my placid burro,
While water rushed and broke on pointed rocks below.
I have known a green seas heaving,
I have loved red rocks and twisted trees and cloudless turquoise skies,
Slow sunny clouds and red sand blowing.
I have felt the rain and slept behind the waterfall.
In cool sweet grasses I have lain and heard the ghostly murmur of regretful winds,
In aspen glades where rustling silver leaves whisper wild sorrows to the green gold solitude's,
I have watched the shadowed clouds pile high.
Singing, I rode to meet the splendid shouting storm,
And fought it's fury until the hidden sun foundered in darkness,
And the lightning heard my song.
Say that I was tired and weary,
Burned and blinded by the desert sun,
Footsore, thirsty sick with strange diseases, lonely
And wet and cold,
But that I kept my dream.
Always I shall be one who loves the wilderness.
Swaggers and softly creeps among the mountain peaks.
I shall listen long to the seas brave music.
I shall sing my songs above the shriek of desert winds.

From Everett Ruess "Vagabond for Beauty" by W.L. Rusho




To laugh often and love much,
to win the respect of intelligent people and
the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and
endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to give of oneself;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and
sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier;
this is to have succeeded.



by Wendell Berry

Always in the (wilderness) when you leave familiar ground
and step off alone into a new place,
there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement,
a little nagging of dread.
It is the ancient fear of the Unknown,
and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.
What you are doing is exploring.
You are undertaking the first experience,
not of the place, but of yourself in that place.
It is an experience of our essential loneliness;
for nobody can discover the world for anybody else.
It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves
that it becomes a common ground and a common bond,
and we cease to be alone.


Grand Canyon quote

by Frank Waters

"In this eternal palingenesis by which continents themselves are forever laid to rest and reborn anew out of their dead selves, nothing is static, nothing is still. Not even the great pyramid of the Colorado.

Everything is alive, dynamic with constant change. Even the stones breathe; water is electric; the air is luminous...
...the great red river, as the instrument of change, has written its ultimate meaning on the vast palimpsest of the living land.
Here, if only for an instant, we can sometimes read it, still engraven on the pages of its uncovered terraces......we measure minutes. The river ignores millenniums. "


Everyone Sang

from Counter Attack by Siegfried Sassoon, 1918

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white orchards and dark green fields;
on - on - and out of sight.
Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears;
and horror drifted away...
Oh, but everyone was a bird;
and the song was wordless -
the singing will never be done.


Count That Day Lost

by George Eliot

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard;
One glance most kind,
That fell like sunshine where it went
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost
Then count that day as worse than lost.