Beer and Gear
by Terry Allen
June 17, 2017
The Beer and Gear Swap and Fundraiser put on by The Great Outdoor Shop, The Wind River Brewing Company and the Wind River Mountain Festival...with live music by our talented local musicians and an open mic for anyone; also seemed a time for outdoor athletes to show off their scars and share stories of close calls with death while in pursuit of adventure.
Jeff Goltz talked about the skiing accident that left him with 14 broken bones in his right leg that ended participation in that sport. He tried to show me his scars, but couldnít pull up his pant leg and hold onto his beer too. "Why donít you go over and ask Jason Essington about his pogo stick wreck," he said. Before I did that I asked Jeff to show me the face he made when a leg breaks in 14 places.
"Iím 44 years old," said Jason "and this is my first Pogo stick accident. My son Christopher challenged me to bail off the Pogo stick at the top of the bounce which was seven feet high at the time. Thatís why Iím walking funny and drinking my beer with a straw."
Speaking of beer reminded me I had an antique mermaid beer bottle opener in my pocket I was going to use as wampum to trade Sean Watts for a beer. He went for the deal and I paused for a refreshing Wind River Blond AleÖbut first I had to wait for Zach Turnbull to get his. In my opinion, guys who catch Grizzly bears for a living deserve to get their beers ahead of geezerly shutterbugs.
Todd Gowen of Lander got up on the stage and wowed the crowd with his playing on a Harp Guitar. These instruments have been around for over a hundred years, and his is called a Tone Devil and itís made over in Idaho. Michael Hedges used to play one, and some say they can sometimes hear him playing along a lonely stretch of highway near Mendocino.
Jack Hunter took off his boot and sock and showed me the brutal surgical scar that bore testament to the day his ice axe broke and he slid down a glacier in Canada until he suddenly stopped. In true Hugh Glass fashion he hopped out for 14 miles until he got help.
Little Gigi took a tumble before she was born. Mother Summer biffed it on a 650cc dirt bike when it just slid out on some gravel. She showed me her shoulder and that was the reason she rode all the way back from Willow Lake with one hand.
Laura from Hamilton, Montana got hit by a car when she was young. She was riding across the street and got hit. Luckily she was wearing a helmet. It got cracked badly and she had to have shoulder surgery. The doctor said if she hadnít been wearing a helmet she would have had brain damage.
Young poet Mya was riding a Go-Spokes bike and shared a poem she wrote. I thought it was appropriate for inclusion.
Soaring high in the sky
Never waiting to say goodbye
Flapping his wings he flies
Not a cloud
Not a sound
Slightly a breeze
Floating down with ease
A birdís new flight
Is the one that gets them high
This is what makes them fly
Soaring high in the sky
Terry Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org