Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back To Banning


China, done.

I could go on here for about 20 pages about the experience of playing at the International Society of Music Educators conference with my friend and long time collaborator Jason Wampler in our electronic music duo We Can and We Must, but that is for another blog!

Now, after a few days getting settled back in in Minnesota, I am back at Banning. Things have been a bit hectic so instead of doing multiple blog entries I will just summarize the last several days here in one entry so blog time and real time can re-connect.

After a few days organizing my gear, washing cloths, and catching up on emails and phone calls as well as getting over a mean case of Jetlag (I am still waking up in the middle of the night), I finally headed to banning on the 10th (yesterday). When I arrived, it almost immediately began to rain so I set up my tent really quickly, then saw my father off after a quick stop at Toby's for a caramel roll, and then hit the trails. What I realized almost right away was that the rain has even more effects than I thought. First off, I had heard word via a call from my wife on the cell phone that it was supposed to possibly hail and thunderstorm so I hung out by the bathrooms for a bit in case it was true. After it seemed unlikely we would get any hail, I set out on the quarry loop trail which was almost completely dominated this time by the various water features that are not nearly as present when the weather is more dry. I also noticed that the wildlife is much less present in the rain and in general, when it is cloudy out which I did not experience as much during my previous stay. I decided, despite further threatening storms, to hike the trail in its entirety and was rewarded by several additional waterfalls, thunder claps, and even a few freight trains in the distance which made a beautiful slow moving musical structure as I walked through the various terrains.

Today I hiked the trail again with sunny skies but the amount of rain the fell last night left the park a wash with new water features and a very high river which carried much farther than it previously had. I am looking forward to hearing how this new water level and these new features change over the course of a hopefully dry weekend though the forecast does show a chance of showers for the next few days.

Tomorrow the Song Path and though there are no reservations on the books I have had a few people approach my campsite asking about the hike so perhaps I will have a few takers. I guess the fliers in the park worked despite my new beard.

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