Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ballad of Norm and Jerry

Sung to the tune of the Ballad of Jesse James
Norm and Jerry sought adventure
They were looking for a trip
Jerry said “Hey le-t’s backpack.”
They asked “Where shall we go?”
“Let’s walk down to the Colorado”
And the Grand Canyon tradition was born.

Norm makes the plans, Jerry cooks without a pan.
Every year we eat freeze dried stroganoff.
Every trip is seven days and somewhere there’s a maze.
Come home safe and sound every time!

We train to 16 hills
Then we leave out all the frills
Do we really need the tent this year?
To the airport we go early
Air travel is so squirrely
Took 3 different planes one year.

We were stuck at Papago pitch
It was quite a fix.
We couldn’t find a way to climb.
We waited for a boat (pause)
Then we planned to float.
Said “screw it” and we climbed it anyway.

It was our second trip
The first day was blue chip
Hermit, Boucher, Ton-to to Slate.
The trail down Slate was steep
Made for mountain sheep
We said No and headed back again.

Two couples came to raft
We rode inflatable craft
Sturgis told u-s tall tales.
We slept on the ground
Privacy could not be found
Jan and Trina were great sports anyway.

Horn Creek had a massive wave
Norm’s raft could not be saved,
Lost glasses, hat and had a cold swim.
Lava Falls we had swimmers
But we all felt like winners.
George made it with on-ly one oar.

We had been to Tanner twice
The routine was so nice
But we forgot the T-SA
When it ca-me time to cook
For matches we did look
Making sparks was the best that we could do.

The feds were making catches,
Luckily they gave us matches.
Yes, they sav-ed our trip.
And if it was our first
You might understand the thirst
But we did Beamer 4 ye-ars before.

The guide book mentioned brush
How could it be so lush?
Merlin - more than we had bargained for
Cactus needles in our hands
No trails across these lands
Ponderosa spring must be here somewhere.

The route Jim found amazing
At the river, his knee was blazing,
Jimmie got a helicopter ride.
We kept half his tent
And we kept half his clothes.
He had to make do with the Lost and Found.

Preseason if you please,
With snow above our knees
We post holed to the North Rim
Over Utah Flats we cruised
And swam through Phantom pools
Rim to rim to ri-m is so cool.

On Kanab number two,
Johnny had the flu (pause)
We didn’t mind that boat ride anyway.
We, on number three, refrained
until the ankle sprained
That’s the only thing we tried but could not do.

Grand Canyon we love most,
Second place is the Lost Coast
Northern California is the place.
On the beach we walked
Giant elk we stalked
W-e loved the low tide wild life.

We crossed the Gila River
At night we had to shiver
The trail brought us to the Indian Ruin.
The stove was barely working
Starvation surely lurking
Jerry found a way to nurse it to the end.

On the Ozark Highlands Trail
We climbed o’r hill and dale
Ev’ry night we check-ed for ticks.
At first we smelled the smoke
Then thick enough to choke
We finally stepped right through the open flame.

On the Georgia Loop (pause)
We met quite a troupe
A fellow with a day pack and a dog.
We got so sick of rain
It was such a pain
We left our packs and hitch hiked in a truck.

At pictographs we looked
Where Anasa-zi cooked
How did Kirk get that buckboard to his ranch?
We bushwacked to the Green
It became an ugly scene
No matter where we looked there was no trail.

Norm hikes every spring
Bonnie can live with that thing,
as long as he takes her now and then.
At the North Rim we began
Walked across the silver span.
Bonnie hiked across the Grand Can-yon.

Nanc’ and Amy were so sad
They wanted to hike with dad
Nan-c’ said I ha-ve vacation days.
The permit said Clear Creek
Jerry said “It is too bleak.”
Piano Alley to the Promised Land.

Bonnie’s poles we employed.
Cool weather we enjoyed.
Lawrence gave us inspiration
Tonto Trail is on the edge
This Jerry would allege
Down Tanner he would rather skateboard.

Started at Point Reyes
Best camp sites of our days
Strangers in Sky 10
Redwoods and waterfalls
Big Basin has them all
and there we shared a spoon.

This year Jerry will go light
Every ounce he’ll fight
at Big Ag-nes he will draw the line.
If we take the UV light
Giardia will be a fright.
His pack will wei-gh 50 pounds again.

This song may have no end
Every year a verse is penned
We wonder when we’ll stop
Norm just keeps finding places
We tighten up our laces
And climb those 16 hills again.

Every verse of this song
Has its own story long
We can’t tell the details with tune
If you have a while
We’ll tell each with a smile
Stories let us live it all again.

Norm makes the plans, Jerry cooks without a pan.
Every year we eat freeze dried stroganoff.
Every trip is seven days and somewhere there’s a maze.
Come home safe and sound every time!

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