COWBOY POETRY: The Teton Pass

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life. Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

Three young men sat in the cab, with me behind the wheel. We’d made this trip a year ago.
To drive was no big deal.
All were Angell cousins, and we’d waited for this day. We were headed to the Tetons for a
week of getaway.
Eight geldings and one mare were loaded tight in Dad’s red truck. ‘Twas his ‘66 Cornbinder,
and that day we’d need some luck.
We’d driven for an hour, and then we started up the pass. The over loaded truck lugged
down. I pressed hard on the gas.
I shifted down a gear or two. Dang near came to a stop. The old farm truck was roaring when
we limped up to the top.
So, we gave the truck a rest and then we got back on the road. The downhill grade was steep
and almost too much for our load.
I’d shifted into fourth but should have stayed in second gear. My cousins started yelling and
their faces showed some fear.
The grinding gears were deafening. The road signs flew by fast. I wondered if this was my
time. “Today could be my last!”
My cousin opened up his door. I thought that he might bail. But then I saw him shake his
head. His face was mighty pale.
I slammed both feet down on the brake. My butt was off the seat. I had to get the truck
stopped or we’d soon all be dead meat.
Smoke was pouring out the sides. Why me for heaven’s sake? When a nosy tourist passed
and yelled, “You’re using too much brake!”
I hoped that he might hang around. I’d give his head a bop. Cuz it looked like we would stay
alive – as the truck came to a stop.
I reached into my duffel bag. My cousin said, “What’s there?” I answered plain and simple.
“I just need clean underwear.”

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