Sunday, September 5, 2010
Whitewater Hike, Friday September 3rd 10:00 AM
A young family of five showed up as the hike was ready to start. We were a little behind schedule. Things got pretty interesting in town.
I had to go into town to check some emails early in the morning so I went in to visit my friends at the Hava Java where I had crashed a family party a few days earlier during gladiolas days and listened to some sweet three part harmonies being laid down outside. They invited me in even though they weren't technically open for business. Love small towns!
Anyways, I got to talking to Laura who runs the coffee shop and gift store as well as practices music therapy and teaches mandolin and guitar to young kids and she was intrigued by the story I had to tell as she made me some coffee and schooled a local man in cribbage. She then proceeded to introduce me to everyone in town as they entered her place and walked me down to the local newspaper where she introduced me to the entire editorial staff (a nice young woman named Linda) and they hooked me up with a story to run the following Friday! So easy!
I also then found out the amazing news-which everyone in town and in Minnesota seemed to know but me- in which two fugitives from the law were apprehended in the park wednesday night by a swat team and a bunch of US marshals with full body armor and assault rifles and accidental rifle discharges and a battering ram and the works. I though I was distracted by 24 hours of moving but imagined how distracted I would be if I was around for that whole drama!
Anyways, back to the hike.
We left from the south picnic as planned and since the hike included three young children, we spent a bit more time talking than I would normally. Despite some contention over the walking order (oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest) between the elder brother and sister, they were extremely well behaved and participated in the listening taking turns hiking a bit farther towards the front near me and really noticing the subtle features of the creek along the way and imitated these features with their mouths.
They had seen the drums along the way and even though there were many interesting things to hear along the way they were especially concerned with the "two girls" and "when would they get to see them play the drums?""
of course, they immediately heard the drums when we started to retrace our steps back to the wooden staircase and when we got near the first drummer were pointing and shouting making a great cacophony in the woods with the sound of the drum. As we climbed the wooden stairs, they asked "why does she keep hitting the drum?" to which I replied "so you can hear how it changes" to which they responded "why?" to which I responded " ...... ?"
But when we rounded the last stair case and hiked over to the edge of inspiration point, I think they finally got it. There is a big area near the last set of stairs where the drums become quite faint but then suddenly re appear when you hike to the point and then are heard in their full glory sailing around the edges of the cliff walls and hills as well as just plain filling the valley floor. As the drums first came into ear shot, I was delighted at they way the rolling sound of the drum rolled around the edges of the valley and blended with the low rumblings of the water making it hard to distinguish as a drum but interesting to hear more as we got closer and closer.
Near the end, I realized the ending signal I had given for the other two to stop playing would not be audible since I had changed the position of my third drum so I called on the two way radio I had signaled the beginning of the drumming with and just manually called them off. It seemed to work even though we never really got in direct touch.