In reality, however, folk music is distinct from the genres we are quick to fasten together with it. Folk music’s melodious musketeers are made dear to us by the nuances that slowly reveal themselves to us unacquainted listeners as we let ourselves become submerged in their sounds: The deep acoustic and percussive tones of Americana, the often frustrated sense of fire in country and the confluence of higher-pitched string instrumentals like the fiddle and the banjo in bluegrass.
“Now if everyone would please, put their Nalgene as high as they can …
Man, I love hiking, ay!
I love camping, ay!
I love hiking, ay!
I love Odyssey, ay!”
More or less parodying Asher Roth’s “I Love College,” Kerran and Oliver’s skit at Camp O Rama was sort of well sung, not very well heard, but extremely entertaining nonetheless. Followed by men (and women!) in tights, climbing Olympics, a surprise head shaving, and ice cream galore, the Adirondack Backpacking trip set the tone for a ridiculous evening that celebrated the conclusion of Outdoor Odyssey 2009.
It was pitch black out, even though the sun had barely set beyond the distant mountains. Dense cloud cover and even denser evergreens obscured the weak light of the quarter moon, making it nearly impossible to find secure footing on the slick rocks that studded the muddy trail. I had been hiking since 6 a.m. and now had no food, little water and was still three hours away from my car. I was beginning to regret not checking the batteries in my headlamp — the weak beam had faded away in to insignificance within minutes of switching it on, slowing my pace to a crawl as I squinted at my feet, making sure I wasn’t about to fall in to the winding Opalescent River.