Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering

WOW!!! OH WOW!!! Wonderful!!! Fantastic!!!

Now I would guess that your wondering what I'm talking about being so great that I'd start off this chapter with words like that. Well..... you'd first off love to listen to the sounds of the Dulcimer. Mix that in with every other string instrument that can be carried to a campground and what do you get? WOW!!!
A few years ago our area had been chosen to two people to make this their new home. Terry & Pam Lewis had moved here from Georgia to be near their daughter and grandson. I had heard the dulcimer being played but never like the way I had heard Terry play it. I never knew that a small 3 stringed instrument could have that much heart and soul. My friendship with them started after seeing an article in the local paper about a "Dulcimer Concert" that was going to take place in the little town of Rose Hill. I convinced my husband to go with me and well...... the rest is history! That night forever changed my life and love of music.
Fast forward to May 2007. Terry had been working with the Cumberland Gap National Park and came up with the idea of having the "Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering" in the campground area of the park. That was the first year and it was GREAT! This past Saturday was the last day of the second annual "CGDG".
It didn't help things that my right hand was so swollen that I couldn't hold the pick in my hand and that the shoulder was having so much pain that I couldn't play. BUT I was not going to let it stop me from enjoying some of the most fantastic music by some of the nations top Dulcimer players! I only missed one night of the music and that was because of a downpour of rain, and the fact that I was covered in mud from riding on WTOP that day.
Every night there were people up at Terry's campsite but nothing could ever compare to what went on Friday night. AWESOME! FANTASTIC! SPECTACULAR! (Do I need to go on?) Here sat several of the top Dulcimer players in the nation..... jamming and laughing and just flat out having a blast! All I can say is that if your a fan of Dulcimer's and didn't get to attend, then YOU MISSED IT!
I have met Mr. Don Pedi before and I can honestly say that I'm in awe of his talent. Not only is this man the most fantastic Dulcimer player around but his knowledge about the Dulcimer and the history of music is well..... amazing! And to top it off he is just a flat out fantastic guy to boot! He has to be something special.... he likes my cornbread!
I met for the first time Ms. Lois Hornbostel... WOW! I really like her. She's a hoot to be around and well..... what can I say about her playing other than FANTASTIC! Also there this year were - Bing Futch, Alan Darveaux, Deby Libby & Richard Woods. All were absolutely fantastic! Each brought a little something different to the dulcimer that only made it even more special.
I could go on and say something about each person that was there this year but then this blog would be never ending and I would do a lot of repeating myself. But just know that if I didn't mention you in person or sing your praises that it in no means implies that I didn't enjoy your contribution to the week... it mainly means that I'm at a loss for words! And believe me, that doesn't' happen very often.
I've uploaded several clips of video to YouTube.... but I'm no where near done. Here are just a few links to what I've got posted so far..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_P5XKe6rRA



You can click on my name and check out the rest of what I've got posted so far.
Hopefully next year instead of having to drive back home every night we will either have a camper or find one to rent to use that week. I really don't want to miss one second of next years event.
I've got a lot more that I could say about this week but no time to do it in. More on this at a later date! I promise!!

I'm so far behind that I'll never catch up!

Ok, so I've not been here to work on my blog in a couple weeks. There is a good reason for it. I've been super busy either riding or attending the "Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering". I've not told you that the Dulcimer is my other passion have I? Well it is. BUT first I guess I need to back up and catch up on things.

The last time I was here I was talking about my two nieces that I took to the mud bowl. That was on 4/27. I went back down to WTOP again on the following Thursday 5/1 and again the next day Friday 5/2! I took the next day, Saturday off. I was just flat out worn out. I think sometimes I try to convince myself that I'm still young and it just isn't working. OH well.....

I was back at it on Sunday 5/4. Met up with Dellis, Crash & Dale to ride at the Rose Hill parking lot. Crash and Dale brought along their boys. I hadn't seen them all winter and they had grown a lot! Except for "Possom", he's still a tiny little thing but tough as a pine knot!

We went straight across Stone into Kentucky. Did take one side trail that Dellis wanted to show me what they had found a couple weeks before. Someone had built a beautiful shelter that had a sleeping loft above with a really nice picnic table and benches below. But the best thing that they had built was an old fashioned "OUT HOUSE"! Talk about finding heaven in the woods! One thing for sure it gave me lots of ideas to do something for mom up on their river bottom. The only bad thing about that would be every time we would want to go down to use it someone else would be there thinking it was there! That would make me very angry. Anyway it is a good idea. Now back to riding.....

On the next day, Monday 5/5 my hubby had a doctors appointment. After he got out he came to the car and said "Lets go riding!" Now normally I would be very happy.... but I was beginning to get a little sore from all the other days riding but I agreed to go without saying a word.

When we got home I told him to go change into his riding clothes and that I'd load up the "Cats" to get ready to go. Grabbed the keys and load up his first...... then went to "Miss Kitty" and the old gal didn't want to start! The battery is going bad but I do have a pull start as a back up. Good to have in case your out and things goes bad, but very hard on the arm/shoulder if it kicks back on you! It has been over a week now and my arm/elbow/wrist still has a lot of pain. I know it won't kill me... but it sure hurts.

That evening after we rode we stopped by the Cumberland Gap National Park campgrounds to see some friends of ours. We had been riding with them a few weeks back and she somehow managed to loose a pair of glasses. Now remember WTOP is 9,000 acres and yep.. you guessed it... Hubby found them! You should have seen her face when we handed them to her. Bad part was she had just gone to have new lenses put in another pair of frames to replace the ones that she had lost. Well, at least now she has a spare pair.

Didn't get to go riding again till Thursday 5/8. A friend of ours called the week before to see if we would be guides for him and his brothers and a brother in law at WTOP. We had been really watching the weather reports/forecast. They were giving some pretty heavy rain to move in on that day. But they said that the forecast said that it would be later on in the day before it made it so they wanted to go ride for as long as they could. Now what is funny, normally I'm either in the "Older" group of riders or I'm the OLDEST! This time I was the YOUNGEST! But also the dumbest. I was down in the "Mud Bowl" showing them what a good play area it is and well..... I turned left when I should have stayed straight! I sunk "Miss Kitty" up to the frame in mud! Hubby had to bring his down with the winch on it to pull me out! That was embarrassing to say the least. But to top it off when I was off trying to hook up the cable I slipped and down I went in the mud! But it is only mud and washes off thank goodness.

Well that is my riding caught up to date. I've not been able to go since then. I was supposed to have went yesterday but backed out. My youngest son was wanting to go down but the weather was nasty and my hand/arm was hurting a lot so I called it off till a later date. Today and tomorrow would have been perfect weather to go but he is working so it will just have to wait.