Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday August 19th 4 PM
Not but 30 minutes after the end of the 1:00 hike, it was time for the 4. A single hiker named Holly joined me and we were later joined by Patrick mid trail. This hike got very deep as both Patrick and Holly were interested in exploring every aspect of the places we stopped. Though my poor sister was waiting longer than usual for us to arrive, I could not possibly rush them. We were given a bit of an extra performance by a squirrel throwing nuts down at us near the large mound on the initial leg of the hike. I have found that today I had a hard time getting hikers to follow me to the top as they explored other aspects of the space but encouraged them to go there as it is only atop that mound that the dripping water by the natural cliff wall can be heard clearly. It makes a great contrast to the mix of silence, angry squirrel, and distant birds.
After that point, we were made aware of the larger space due to a large group of kids jumping off the cliff walls into the river in the distance. The iterations of them jumping into the water seemed to occur at a similar interval as I have instructed musicians to hit the drum so I at first thought that my sister had just become impatient with waiting and decided to start smacking the drum. A nice sort of fore shadowing.
At the dripping wall, we again explored the space very deeply and discovered that with the extra moisture in the ground, there were many small caves below us filled with empty space and dripping water that we stuck our heads near and listened to many different sonic spaces within a few square meters of each other. This addition made this quite area very dramatic and as we then pulled our attention back to the larger space there seemed to be so much more to hear as if we had discovered an entire universe in a space that was previously only a planet.
The sound of the cliff divers continued to fill the greater space and re-informed the more intimate sounds we were hearing. We hiked off trail again where the cicadas were waking up and lingered there a bit before hiking on. We noticed that as we approached a certain spot where one of them was sitting under the rocks, they would stop making noise creating a sort of gap in the sonic texture and causing a sort of electronic sounding shift in the chord that was being struck by all of them together.
After we lingered a bit at the river, we marched on to the powerhouse. While we were listening closely to the bass line that the water created, a gaggle of geese flew overheard making a semi-regular rhythmic sound that is characteristic of them which seemed to mix quite intentionally with the sound of the water and made a brief counterpoint.
Again, I could not get the hikers to bend to my will when passing the powerhouse but this time did not notice that they had gone off the trail until after I had arrived at the rock crusher. Instead of going back though, I just began my improvisation in the rock crusher and kept it going until they finally returned to the trail and saw me there. This made the whole area a bit more interesting in that they got to see the powerhouse twice and were a bit more free to explore it more deeply the second time. When I began my improv there, they joined me and Holly even broke out into song singing a few blues and jazz standards from, as I learned later, her time as a singer in a blues band. As she sang, Patrick and I ran around the powerhouse to hear how the sound changed from different perspectives and this song path ended when the kids that had been cliff diving approached the powerhouse and began to pummel it with rocks. A big no no in the parks, but from our perspective, an amazing sound.
Though one of the longer hikes I have done, I felt it was one of the most rewarding and really enjoyed the experience.