Melody Trail Torrent
Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.
Melody Trail torrent
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The song blends together a variety of musical traditions. The opening line refers to "a banjo on my knee", but the song takes its beat from the polka, which had just reached the U.S. from Europe. Writer and musician Glenn Weiser suggests that the song incorporates elements of two previous compositions, both published in 1846: "Mary Blane", by Billy Whitlock, and "Rose of Alabama", by Silas S. Steele. He points out that the melody of the verse of "Oh! Susanna" resembles that of "Mary Blane", and the opening of the chorus of "Oh! Susanna" is almost identical to that of "Rose of Alabama". Moreover, the story lines of both "Oh! Susanna" and "The Rose of Alabama" involve a lover going from one Deep Southern state to another with his banjo in search of his sweetheart, which suggests that Foster got the inspiration for his lyrics from Steele's song.[self-published source]
The song is one of Stephen Foster's best-known songs, and it also is one of the best-known American songs. No American song had sold more than 5,000 copies before; "Oh! Susanna" sold over 100,000. After its publication, it quickly became known as an "unofficial theme of the Forty-Niners", with new lyrics about traveling to California with a "washpan on my knee". A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch version uses Foster's melody but replaces the lyrics entirely.
Far in the West there lies a desert land, where the mountainsLift, through perpetual snows, their lofty and luminous summits.Down from their jagged, deep ravines, where the gorge, like a gateway,Opens a passage rude to the wheels of the emigrant's wagon,Westward the Oregon flows and the Walleway and Owyhee.Eastward, with devious course, among the Wind-river Mountains,Through the Sweet-water Valley precipitate leaps the Nebraska;And to the south, from Fontaine-qui-bout and the Spanish sierras,Fretted with sands and rocks, and swept by the wind of the desert,Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound, descend to the ocean,Like the great chords of a harp, in loud and solemn vibrations.Spreading between these streams are the wondrous, beautiful prairies,Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine,Bright with luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas.Over them wandered the buffalo herds, and the elk and the roebuck;Over them wandered the wolves, and herds of riderless horses;Fires that blast and blight, and winds that are weary with travel;Over them wander the scattered tribes of Ishmael's children,Staining the desert with blood; and above their terrible war-trailsCircles and sails aloft, on pinions majestic, the vulture,Like the implacable soul of a chieftain slaughtered in battle,By invisible stairs ascending and scaling the heavens.Here and there rise smokes from the camps of these savage marauders;Here and there rise groves from the margins of swift-running rivers;And the grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the desert,Climbs down their dark ravines to dig for roots by the brook-side,And over all is the sky, the clear and crystalline heaven,Like the protecting hand of God inverted above them.
For much of the year this high mountain pass is under a deep snow cover. In June, warm temperatures accelerate the melt in earnest, turning Fitzsimmons Creek into a raging torrent. By July only a few remnant patches remain giving nourishment to a profuse spring bloom of alpine flora. Colourful purple lupines, orange avalanche lilies, and red Indian paintbrush carpet the rolling alpine topography.
Whistler Village to Singing Pass Total Length, 22 km; Time 3 to 4 hours one way (down), 7 hours up; Elevation Gain, 1000 metres. Beginning at the bus loop drop off area (just oppoiste the free parking lots - and not far from the summer bike chairlfits and Gondola), follow the Whistler Mountain access road for approximately 500 metres. Turn left on the old Singing Pass Road (by foot only - contrary to what some outdated books suggest), which continues along Fitzsimmons Creek to the Garibaldi Provincial Park boundary 6 kilometres from the Village. The trail then branches and follows Melody Creek to Singing Pass as the attached map shows. It's an easy trail to follow, not rooty and steep like most Northwest hikes, just a classic single-track trail with lush forest giving way to shrub and alpine meadows. For those who wish, take the Gondola up (instead of down) and follow to Piccolo, Flute and Obo, then curve around and descend aling Melody Creek and finally, Fitzsimmons. An easy trail to follow.
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Director Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer and The Equalizer 2 both belong in the rare but hallowed subgenre of "Denzel Washington beating the shit out of people," so needless to say we've eagerly kept our ears to the ground for any news of a third entry. The trail has been cold for a few years now, with The Equalizer 2 hitting theaters in 2018, until Collider's Steve Weintraub sat down with the Oscar-winner to discuss The Tragedy of Macbeth and learned, uh, The Equalizer 3 might be Washington's very next film.