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O#11: Elko, Nevada
OSeptember 25, 2004

Elko, Nevada is the home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which takes place each January.


The Cloud Rider

We rode into Elko, Pink Hat and I,

Where the Ruby peaks reach from the sage to the sky:

The place where I'd sworn and most solemnly vowed

To ride to the heavens on the back of a cloud.

Men who ride broncos live in legend and song,

But riding the winds is the place I belong

For to lasso a cloud and let it soar with you free

Is the strangest, most fantastical ride there can be.



To aid in my quest came the Scouts brave and free

(On their way to attending the Fall Camporee)

And with helium and twine, before the first light

They pulled down a cloud from the sky for my flight






The townspeople gathered to see what was what,

And their puzzled eyes said, "Who the heck is this nut?

"Who would make a wild dream such a pressing priority

"Under sponsorship of the Convention and Visitor's Authority?"


I was tied down to sandbags, with a harness for a seat,

And ropes from the cloud round my wrists, legs and feet,

My heart was a-pounding with a wild delight,

As the moment approached for my cloud to take flight


I called out to Pink Hat, and at my word

He cut loose my tether, and the restive cloud stirred

And into the skies of the new-dawning day

It yanked me up skyward: Cloud rider, away!