Introduction to Hammerhorn Lake

On the weekend of 3–4 September 1994, Garry Gay, John Thompson, and I had a camping trip to Hammerhorn Lake, in Mendocino County in Northern California. We wrote rengay together all weekend, while we were strolling around the lake, gathered under the stars by our bonfire, or on our long hike up Hammerhorn Mountain (an elevation gain of more than 4,000 feet, or 1,230 meters). In June of 1995, I published all the rengay we wrote on this trip in a chapbook titled Hammerhorn Lake. The book was distributed as a gift at the national meeting of the Haiku Society of America that took place on 24 June 1995 in San Francisco. The following is the book’s short introduction and a list of the eight rengay contained in the book.


The following rengay were written over Labor Day weekend, 1994, at Hammerhorn Lake and on Hammerhorn Mountain in California’s Yolla Bolly Wilderness Area. From the lake at night we saw the Milky Way rimmed by the dark silhouettes of lodge pole pines. From the top of the mountain, we enjoyed a distant view of Mount Shasta, mostly barren of snow due to the previous winter’s drought.


Hammerhorn Lake                   Michael Dylan Welch, John Thompson, and Garry Gay

Whispered Stories                    Garry Gay and Michael Dylan Welch

Empty Hammock                      Michael Dylan Welch and John Thompson

Skipped Stone                           John Thompson and Garry Gay

Taking Turns                              Michael Dylan Welch and Garry Gay

Here and There                         John Thompson and Michael Dylan Welch

Roasting Marshmallows          John Thompson and Garry Gay

Hammerhorn Mountain          Garry Gay, John Thompson, and Michael Dylan Welch