Saturday, March 17, 2012

Taum Sauk

Taum Sauk Summit
Missouri was named for an Algonquian* Indian word that means "river of the big canoes." That probably was what we pale faced burger chompers call the Mississippi.
A Piankeshaw* chief was named Sauk-Ton-Qua and that could be the origin of the name for the highest peak in Missouri called "Taum Sauk. I haven't heard a local pronounce it so I'm not sure if it's "Tam" or "Tahm" or "Tum". Another possibility is the name Sauk means "Outlet" and to climb this peak you have to cross a distinctive valley. Taum Sauk is the 40th highest peak out of the highest peak in each state and I've had a harder time climbing into my bed in the van than getting to this summit.

Everything Else included something called a "Frito Pie"** which made Wild Turkey Whiskey seem like a protein shake.



A thunder storm opened up on us not long after we reached the summit and made me realize why God was a big factor here in 1790. The homesteaders didn't have Cracker Barrel and Big Lots to fill up baskets of cheap Chinese staples like Ramen noodles and Mello Yellow. They were attacked by the Indians, Tornadoes appeared at random, thunder and lightning will make a believer out of anyone if it goes on for 6 hours. Hail the size of golf balls had me praying to Jesus and digging around for my bible. Flash flood made Noah my friend. Yeah, Jesus gets a bad rap because he's invoked for everything from the lottery to classroom science and traffic lights but in the beginning when you had a hut buried under a dirt hillside and the Indians were waiting for the tornadoes to pass before they attacked while the lightning illuminated the mysterious heavens...then you had no friends and not much to live for. It's easy to bash Jesus from an easy chair in front of the Discovery Channel. If you rough it for a few months in Missouri your faith will multiply like Abel's flock of sheep. So, we are blundering toward a higher quality of life. Yes, the arctic wolf and the Senegal slave was our stepping stone but it's up to us to do something worth killing off the arctic wolf.

*Along with the Kickapoo and the Cherokee, the Algonquian and the Piankeshaw tribes have been replaced by Jack in The Box and Target and Frito Pies...

**The last thing you see before your arteries permanently clog
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.