Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday August 20th, 4:00

A real nice afternoon. After a day of more rain, the 4:00 hike was filled by a mother and daughter team from who's accent I placed to be from somewhere in either southwest or northern Minnesota. Of course, I am bad a placing accents.

The rains we had had during the week of and the previous evening on into the morning made the water level extremely high and the water features were going full force. The hike started off with the usual meditation during which we were subtly teased by the distant sound of birds which often blended with the higher scintillation of of the river and the high pitch of the wind. This theme of animal sounds gently protruding and emerging from other features was a re-occurring theme this hike. As we hiked near the river, these background noises would emerge at times in places where the river was more dampened. Then, as we left the now raging waterfall under the bridge, a small group of birds were singing up the path and the high rhythms of the river did a sort of crossfade as if the birds emerged out of the river sound. Later in the path, after we stood atop the large mound where the water was creating a swift "buzzing" type rhythm, a squirrel let out an angry buzz of his own as if in imitation of the water feature.

The wind was very quite which made it's occasional appearance that much more dramatic and it made me think about how many animals and bird sounds get covered by the wind as I heard these features more prominently on this hike. The activity of the now dozens of water feature made it easy to hike the trail at a slightly faster pace between the mound and the dripping wall as each of the features was loud enough to hear from a distance and hiking a bit faster allowed us to sort of Cross Fade between each of the features from subtle drips to raging waterfalls. It was a spectacular display which helped to set the stage for the deeper exploration we would do then at the dripping wall and the small caves that we had discovered on a previous hike.

As the river was running high and fast, the major sound it made was the high pitched sound of breaking waves which made it so that when you got closer, some of the lower more rhythmic features were covered but as you got farther away, these low sounds became more pronounced above the din so or path along the river at the lower part of the trail was bombarded by the occasional low swell which made stone crusher and power house that more interesting to just stand and listen in. There was no drummer this hike, but I though it was just as interesting to make the hikers more suddenly aware of the space when we entered and I did a short improvisation. I am having more and more fun with the short slap delay in the rock crusher and have found that the sound drastically changes as you go from left to right in the space itself. The two hikers were treated (or subjected) to an extra long improv in the rock crusher. I hope they did enjoy it!

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