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Explore Historic California


'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the desert....."

'Twas the night before Christmas,
                     when all through the desert.... 

Not a creature was stirring, not even a lizard;
Wet socks were drying by the campfire with care,
In hopes that the Coyote soon would be there;
Jess and Jake were nestled all snug in their tent,
While visions of dog milk bones oft came and went;
And I in my sleeping bag and Roger in his cot,
Oh my how he does snore a lot and a lot!
When in the horizon there was such a clatter,
I  rose from my bag to see what was the matter.
I  pulled out my head and flew like a flash,
I saw someone coming in quite a mad dash.
The moon on the hood of the sport utility,
Gave the luster of mid day to all around me,
When what to my surprise should come from my back,
But the Silver Coyote just leading his pack.
I knew in a moment it wasn't my brother,
But an expert 4-wheeler just like no other.
He pulled out his hand held radio CB,
And he told his pack where their wheels ought to be.
Now, Blazer! Explorer! 4-Runner! Cherokee!
Park by the campfire tight! Right next to each other!
Don't block the road! Make room for another!
As dry dust caused by 4-wheels spinning in the sand,
Settled down with no obstacles as the wheels land,
Lewellyn came up to our little old camp,
With a truck full of great goodies - aah what a champ!
And then in a twinkling I heard from our tent,
The waggedy wag tails of my big dogs went.
I clapped my hands  and they came out and around,
To greet their good friend Harry with leap and a bound.
He was dressed in khaki from his head to is foot.
His clothes were all tarnished with dust and camp soot.
A bundle of books he had flung on his back,
He looked like a peddlar with his old raggedy sack.
His warm eyes how they glistened in the great fire light,
His hair was so silver like the moon oh so bright.
His mustached mouth greeted us with a smile.
He said, "Hey, I haven't seen you quite a great while"
He took off  his gray hat and tipped it at us,
"Been so long in fact, can't remember 'twas."
He reached in his back for a new Glove Box Guide
"Here use this next time you go for a dirt ride."
And he laughed as he handed it to Roger,
That Silver Coyote and wise old dodger.
He winked his eye and twisted his white head,
Then let me know of trips and tips to be read.
"Backroads can be fun if you follow my book,
Keep a CB, tow strap, drink all water you took.
Don't travel alone, bring a good friend along;
Or tell someone you're going - you can't go wrong!
Please stay on existing roads - don't tear up the dirt.
Just follow my advise you shouldn't get lost or hurt!"
Then Harry called out to his pack:
"Head 'em out!
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!"
To all he did shout.

Remember to Tread Lightly!
Roger, Cecile, Jessie & Poor Little Jake spent lots of time traveling the back country in their S-10 Blazer in 1996 when this was written.  They haven't yet encountered bigfoot, Santa or even a reindeer.  Today they drive around in their 2001 Toyota Forerunner,
on occasion can  still be seen in the company of the "Silver Coyote",
also known as Harry Lewellyn.