Bert McLaren first told me about the bench about ten years ago. Bert had a lot of history with Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake. He and his brother, Dick had been Park Rangers and their father, Fred was a ranger for 36 years.
Bert used to talk about a place above the old Holzwarth Ranch where you could hike up to an old bench that looked out over Phantom Valley. He said there was a jar under some rocks next to the bench with notes people had written over the years and he used to love to hike up there to sit and read them.
I eventually found my way to the bench one summer and wrote a song about it, as I'd promised Bert a few years before. The song will be on the new CD this spring. I also wrote a song about Bert's old guitar, along with my friend Jon Cook, which is on the 'Live at Pancho & Lefty's' DVD. I miss Bert and his stories and am forever grateful to have known him.
"I found the jar of memories
'neath rocks to keep them safe
beside the bench I'd searched for
worn gray and frail with age"