Monday, September 6, 2010

Whitewater, Sunday September 5th 2010 10:00 AM

12 hikers. A record. Amongst the hikers were Amy Barret who is my main contact at the DNR headquarters and her husband John and family of 4 children. There was also a family of 5 with a 6 month old dog named pogo and a single woman who was a writer and a photographer among other things from what I could gather. The planes again played an important role but we were also graced with several very incessant conversations between birds as we stood between different water features in the creek. They made patterns that seemed to repeat themselves in a broad rhythm around our heads as we listened to the flowing waters which kind of broke down gradually after about 5 or 6 repetitions.

Though difficult to fit the whole group on the second bridge, we managed to listen closely to both sides of the bridge and I think the whole group caught the high vs low pitched sides that mixed as we moved from side to side. When we reached the mysterious valley, we were serenaded by a single bird which let out a regular rhythm as well as a distant caw of an eagle in the valley. As this was playing out, a freight train that I had never noticed before let out a loud whistle which filled in the valley with sound and really re-framed the entire sonic landscape. We then returned to the regular rise and fall of various planes flying overhead which made a counterpoint to the train that we were leaving behind. Just at the right time, I began to hear the sound of the drum but stopped a little closer than I meant to however. I thought the over flying planes helped to smooth out the transition though as we approached the drums and the stairs leading up the stairs to inspiration point.

In the end, the group was very brave and went all the way to the edge of the point where they could really hear everything in the valley. The drummers were quite on their game this morning despite the cold.

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