I’ve always loved the mountains.
Heaven knows I always will.
It was way back during the gold rush,
My momma’s folks arrived in Placerville.
I’ve hiked its peaks and meadows,
With my granddad, as a kid.
If anyone loved the mountains,
My granddad Daniels did.
He hiked them with his granddad,
During Hangtown’s glory days,
Wading creeks and panning gold.
He knew the mountain ways.
Time in the High Sierras
Was my granddad’s greatest joy.
He’d hiked its fields and forests
From the time he was a boy.
Together we camped its lakes and streams,
We feasted on its fish,
Saw heaven from its summits,
Stood awestruck at the stars, and made a wish.
Granddad watched the devastation,
Through seventy-two long years.
The clear-cuts and conflagrations,
And I saw it all reflected in his tears.
The Sierras are resilient,
Sympathetic and forgiving.
Despite the treatment they received,
The Sierras thrived; the Sierras went on living.
But in ‘69 my granddad died.
The foothills lost their luster.
When time came to leave old Placerville,
It took every bit of courage I could muster.
We moved back to Missouri,
The childhood home of Father.
There I met and wed my wife.
God blessed us with a son and with a daughter.
Through the years, I grew to manhood,
Built a home and tilled the earth,
Sought God, and spread Dad’s ashes,
And saw my grandson’s birth.
Life moves on; we’re given choices.
There are chances we must take.
Freedom can’t assure success.
Freedom’s found in choices that we make.
In the end, our joys dependant,
On what our choices are.
Sometimes you paint your wagon
And follow a wandering star.
So now I’m in the Ozarks.
My choices brought me here.
I’m happy in Missouri,
And heaven knows I hold the Ozarks dear.
And I’ve lived a long and prosperous life,
Beneath God’s bright blue skies,
But my heart pumps High Sierra blood,
And I’ll die with the High Sierra’s in my eyes.