The Ballad of Dog Dually





Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The Ballad of Dog Dually

From Wiley Timmons ‘Tales of the West’

Gunnison Gorge – An invocation to amuse-meant.

Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison Gorge                  Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison Gorge
Where canyons rise and eagles soar               Rafting waters, outfitters tour
The river drifts, the white waters roar            Fly fishing the Gunny without any lures
Past ancient cliffs of Gunnison Gorge             Ancient river where Time endures.

1st Riddle –  What’s the difference between a banjo and a harmonica?

Eb – D Harp Walking Scale                              Wiley on the River

On the Trail of the Tale

An ancient canyon, running river, wilderness adventure is a channel for music. Folkloric music.  Ringing thru the air, Walking Down the Line, Fishing Blues and Tom Dooley piping thru the wind organs of the wild.  Piping thru the wind organs of the wild.

From the trailhead the Chukar Trail[1] begins descending right from the  start. There are very few level spots the entire distance. The overall elevation change is 1000 feet and distance is a trekking mile.  Switchbacks are built in to make the steep grade more manageable.  The trail eventually enters the wash  where it passes through the cliffs and down to the river.  Wiley the pack mule lugs in 45 lbs in of gear in a dry bag slung with backpack shoulder straps.  [1]

With no more than a blister to show (at first) he hears these refrains –Arlo Guthrie at Woodstock in ’69 singing Bob Dylan’s  Walking Down the Line to 400,000 freaks.  In typical Arlo fashion, he hesitates a bit.  As did Wiley at the bottom of the trail  –

Walking Down the Line (Bob Dylan 1963)

G          C/g              G      C/g   G                                      I got my walkin’ shoes
Well, I’m walkin’ down the line,                                    I got my walkin’ shoes
C/g    G                                                                                I got my walkin’ shoes
I’m walkin’ down the line                                              An’ I ain’t a-gonna lose
C/g              G                                                                    I believe I got the walkin’ blues
An’ I’m walkin’ down the line.
C/g          G                                                                      Well, I’m walkin’ down the line,
My feet’ll be a-flyin’                                                      I’m walkin’ down the line
D7sus4        C/g      G                                                    An’ I’m walkin’ down the line.
To tell about my troubled mind.                               My feet’ll be a-flyin’
Tell you ‘bout my twisted spine, knee, leg.

At the base of the Chukar Trail, where the shore meets the river, Wiley unloads the dry bag and starts sorting gear when his trick knee kicks in.  SPROING!  The pack mule load unwinds on his leg like a coil spring and wilderness adventure Wiley is now the 1st crip on the trip.  His tightened IT-band, knee sprain injury is old news.  He’ll has to deal with it in the here and now.  On the river.

2nd Riddle-  What walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon and 3 legs in the evening?

Overboard Anglers

Some came for the day, some for overnight.  Some came to guide, some to ride, some to fish and some to float.  Three boats on the river.  Looking for rainbow trout and browns, fishermen rigged their gear from fancy fly boxes.  Elk-haired cadis, streamers, bright plastic moths glowing in the water.  Like Taj Mahal singing to the Gunny –

Fishing Blues (Henry Thomas)

I went down to my favorite fishin’ hole,
Baby, grabbed me a pole and line
Cast it to the left, cast it to the right
Land that fly where the fish will bite
Browns and rainbows swimming around
Smooth river flows without a sound

Many fish bites if you got good bait,
here’s a little tip I would like to relate.
Many fish bites if you got good bait,
I’m a-goin’ fishin’,yes,
I’m a-goin’ fishin’ in the Gunny Gorge river too!

Father and son, wading in the water
Landing everything in sight
Back in the boat, fishing the waters
Left back home the mothers and the daughters

Many fish bites if you got good bait,
But when you’re tossed overboard it’s a fast moving lake
Keep your head up, feet first downstream
Don’t panic in the water or try to scream
While you’re splashing in the cold Gunny Gorge!

Bite Me, I need the Money

After a day and a half on the river all wilderness rafters make it back to the
campground.  Alive. Tired and Dusty.  With a hitch in his get-away, Wiley
hobbles over to the bar / store / stool to hang out with the good ol’ boys from the
local outfitters shooting the breeze about the river and rafters.

‘What’ll you have’, asks the barkeep?’
‘PBR like everyone else I guess.’
‘What’s your name son?’
‘Look at the label – PBR.  That’s me – Peter Brown Robinson.  Get it?’
Guffaw, guffaw.

Bidding the bubbas goodbye, Wiley drags himself back to camp to pack up and go.That’s where Wiley meets Dually bringing back to mind the murder, musicballad – Tom Dooley.



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