Mulka 2
(please scroll down through the Chaff to Mulka 1 for the origins of the festival)

 ...be on the mountain through another winter. Several of our fellow travelers have returned to the safety of the coast, perhaps never to climb again. We persevere in our efforts and begin to make merry on this solstice we have named Mulka 2, knowing full well our hardships will begin afresh in the morning.
Mara spent the day making us cookies in her solar oven.

Rifka Squirrel  (with permission of the artist - website for more "pure" Rifka
 From the notebook of Mara Thompson - "I took the liberty to contact the squirrel brigade about the food for Mulka. This year, guest chef "Blue Judy", a glamorous breed of Rifka Squirrel will be heading the cook wagons. I humbly asked for and received permission from Judy to use and change one of her designs. This image needs to go on the blog with "permission received".

The balloonist prepares for assent.

Mark finds himself on the opposite side of the mountain from Base Camp. He attempts
a bounce signal from a satellite.

Climber RVE enters Mulka Time Slit

Everything at Base Camp starts out fine until the Squirrels arrive.

The origins of our Autumn Equinox Celebration
From the Lee Goldberg Journal-
"Heading due east on the northwest side of the island, facing south, lies a large grove of trees commonly known as the trees of confusion.   For many years the people of the island would harvest the trees in September to keep confusion limited to a small area of the island. If left to drop, or worse still, take to the wind, the confusion would spread throughout the area."
From the William Evertson Journal-
"CHAF is the abbreviation the climbers settled on; Confusion Harvest Autumn Festival.  Often the winds deposited confusion in the most difficult spots and yet it must be harvested. The climbers would complete the threshing and winnowing of the chaff leaving only the ripe seeds." The grain could be either formed into hardtack for the climbs or as Susan preferred, fermented into a hearty grog."

Climbers Ria Vanden Eynde, William Evertson and Susan Shulman during CHAF (video courtesy Susan Sulman Tsuff Archives)

The CHAF panel discussion (with climbers Bibi, Lee, Mara, Susan, William and Ria - video courtesy Susan Shulman Tsuff Archives)

The origins of our December full moon Celebration

"Although we have arrived with only a meager amount of gear and provisions, our arrival on Analogue should be celebrated. Following Susan's brilliant suggestion for a holiday festival, we are proposing a virtual party for the full moon of Dec. 21st.
We can decorate, cook, share music and make merry with our jpegs posted here of anything that could help make our hut into a home away from home while on this journey.
Of course, we expect this Merry to also make it's way into the actual story."

Mulka is our celebration of the Mukluk Miracle. 
Susan enters a door wearing red cowboy boots and arrives inside wearing blue mukluks. 

The entire miracle is recounted in the chronicles of Oct. 13; the following being a portion.

"Susan looks down and her eyes go wide at the sight of the blue fur covered cowboy boots she has on.
"They're Freaking blue!!" "Bloody Hell" she screams."

Mulka Miracle (VS) from William Evertson on Vimeo.
The origin of the Mulka Celebration. A tale from Analogue Narratives, possibly the sequel to Mount Analogue.

December 20 - 22, 2010

Cracker Jack clues and directional signs were left to aid the second team of climbers find Camp 8, 1908.

Image of vintage Cracker Jack and other items provided by Mara Thompson

Image of Ria dropping clues and supplies for the later climbers provided by Bill Evertson

Directional sign supplied by Mara Thompson

Time slits mapped for the first time by Mark Bloch

Ria prepares to enter 1908
Image provided by Ria Vanden Eynde

There is a debate about inviting the Flying Green Monkeys to Mulka.   They may not follow mountain etiquette, but then, it is us that are the strangers.

Image provided by Bill Evertson

Susan Shulman's fortune tellers provides a glimpse into our future.

Mara - Mulka is December 21st. We set our thoughts on Camp 8, 1908, looking forward to seeing the other climbers. The squirrels telepathically assured us that all the food and prep would be their pleasure, they will meet us there.

The ability to "look forward" while moving back in time is getting a bit less dizzying but not by much. I, for one, am looking forward to the sauna.
GOOD MOUNTAIN MORNING!!!! With a wink, "Clean up and gather. We are trickling into 1908" Adjust your hats!

We emerged, slipped or leaked out from our time slits, into Camp 8, 1908. The fire pit glows.... after listening to the crackle of the spheres we each begin with our verbalized (and perhaps later sketched in the field notes) Mulka Wish.

I plug into the 2035 video view for a final bit of blast from Les Claypool-Monkey Stick.

"Near the cooking hut there's a shed containing djembes, didgeridoos, tamborines and who knows what else. There's a note on the door from the 2009 festival - 'Sync yourself with the rhythm'".

Ria, Bill, Bibi are here! Oh joy! There are blueberries and pat-i-cake bread on the table. Bibi, the squirrels have brought a wagon load of food and will prepare it for us, it's tradition. If they scurried away with your food it is to add it to the groaning board.

Watch out for the nut muffins.... they pack a punch.

Passing by the torches Mark slid one out of the bracket and held it high.

Lee - Mara's map did come in handy,tho the trip thru the warp was smooth as usual...this is such a beautiful unspoiled Island in 1908...very peaceful unlike what is going on in the rest of the world..we are lucky to be here to celebrate and plan for what's next on our journey. there's much to see a learn here no matter what time we're in....

Bill - The sense of dèjá vu became strong when we approached the hut 8 plateau. Mara had led all night to bring our group there in time for the earliest arriving Self Gathering Nut trees. A brief glimpse was all I caught but it was unmistakable; they did indeed migrate. Nocturnal, slow and mainly perceptible via their shadows, yet indeed movement into a new formation. Things we never notice unless we look for them.

Since we are traveling in time rather than space, this image represents a month before Mulka.  We are nearing the crest of the ridge where we will see, for the first time, the Camp 8 area on the Lee side of the slope.

The Lee side of the elevation.
Image provided by Lee Goldberg

Image provided by Mara Thompson

Ceremonial Wagon arrives, squirrel's contribution to the Mulka festival, including food.

Bibiana - Mara, how are you getting to the bonfire party? let's ride together... it's pretty rainy here, I'm afraid to climb by myself!

Mara - Here Bibi, hold my hand... Last I checked we were all in February of 1908 so it's just about a "month" more and we'll be in Camp 8. It will happen rather quickly, and if the calculations are correct the landing should be spot onto the Space Walk . These leaves are uncommonly large for the altitude... and bouncy... If you are able, after the bounce grab for the red ropes on the cliff face. From there it's a short way to the top of the waterfall and a view that must be experienced, not described.

Image provided by Mara Thompson

Mara - Ria - let's go investigate the rest of the camp until the next course is served....

Ria - k-whereto first?

Mara - Do you mind if we go down to see what's on the table to snack on and then splash our feet in the stream? Taking these boots off will be a delight!

Ria - glowing ice rink?

Mara - I was going to say that! Really! Yes, let's go! ‎"This is a huge camp, Ria thought to herself, "I'm in the darkness of the night already and from where I'm standing, no moon in sight." Let's swing by the food, ice rink next, will pass by the torches

Mark - Let's sing a torch song

Image provided by Cathy Nolan Vincevic

Ria – Make a wish around the bonfire:  I wish I could get a hold of Blue and get my waffle iron back.

Bill – I wish these squirrels would stop massaging my scalp for a few minutes.  It was tough getting a bit of quiet time to rehearse for the reenactment of the Mukluk Miracle I wanted to perform but I sat for a moment and collected thoughts; at least the ones close enough to reach from a sitting position.

A travelogue from the slopes of Mount Analogue describing the origin of the Mulka Bonfire Festival.

The party begins with a circle round the bonfire and each climber expresses their Mulka Wish.

Top image by Lee Goldberg 
Lower image by Susan Shulman

Mara – I wish the night to allow view of the lunar eclipse.

Bibi-  I wish the squirrels didn’t eat our food.

Mara – If Ian could be here…. He would help us find that waffle iron. .... when the waffle iron appears there will be great cheering, the Traveling Self Gathering Nut Trees produce a most wonderful hot syrup... aiyy I'm hungry!

The festival took off.  There were multiple loci of events…. Here is a sampling.

Mulka's Cave

Top and bottom images by Mark Bloch... Middle image of Mulka's Cave captured by Mara Thompson

Fanny stopped by. (Love her hat!) She's in giddy form having finally resolved that her ascent was the highest attained by a female.

Image of Fanny Bullock provided by Mara Thompson

Female mountaineers were rare in the early 20th century, and the maximum height attained by a woman lagged behind that claimed by male climbers. The first woman to climb extensively in the Karakoram was Fanny Bullock Workman, who made a number of ascents, including that of Pinnacle Peak, a 6,930 m (22,736 ft) subsidiary summit of Nun Kun, in 1906.  Her claim on the women's altitude record was challenged by Annie Smith Peck in 1908 after she made an ascent of the north peak of Huascarán, which she claimed was higher than Pinnacle Peak. The ensuing controversy was bitter and public, and eventually resolved in Bullock Workman's favour when she hired a team of surveyors to measure the height of Huascarán. The north peak was found to be 6,648 m (21,812 ft) tall - some 600 m lower than Smith Peck's estimate.

Many of the Mulka guests decided to marry on the auspicious day - image provided by Mara Thompson

Susan briefly stood in the way of Miss Blue, but realized her heart belonged to the Mountain.

Image provided by Susan Shulman

Image provided by Bill Evertson

Bill - Don't worry Ria! This cairn marks the spot where we cached your mind.

From the top down,  Images provided by Mara Thompson, Susan Shulman, Bibiana Maltos, and the last two by Bill Evertson

Until the DJ arrived Susan spun disks, operated the lunar eclipse observatory and operated the landing field lights for the arrival of the dirigible.

Bill - Susan's got a harmonica and the squirrels sing sea shantys!
(shanty music added here)

The DJ went wild!  “The Universal Hum”,

Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band, Sammy Davis Jr., Talking Heads, Elvis, jr. Well's Broke and Hungry and Carey Bell's Hit Man,   Les Claypool. Arthur Brown played Fire and the shadow of Jimi Hendrix playing All Along the Watchtower fell over us for a spell.   Susan taught Otto/Toto the Hard Tongue Didgeridoo with exercises in Northeast Arnhem Land Yidaki style.  The DJ spun Paul Hyde's I Miss My Mind the Most for Ria, who could be seen glancing down the sloping plateau toward the area of her cairn. Screamin' Jay Hawkins_- "I Put A Spell On You",  Spirit- "Mr Skin".

A Mulka Bonfire song created for the 2010 festival at Hut 8 on Mount Analogue.

Mara - The day began with a golden shimmering sky.  Mists from Mulka Falls infused with the early sunshine gently drifted down to the grove of traveling trees.  Follow the spirals and curlicues with my eyes I caught sight of a pair of Doublers*.

In my half dream state it made perfect sense but now the certainty evaporates as the sun rises and the smell of waffles asserts itself.

*  Doublers weave nests to accommodate two families.  The cooperation encompasses egg sitting, foraging, choral performances and certainly other as yet unnoticed activities.  Their paisley shapes inspired sumptuous brocades which are woven near the Port ‘o Monkeys.  A double taking a bath radiates joy.  The Mulka’s Cave runes say they originally came from the Mountain of Tears in a dirigible.  They prospered in the co-operative atmosphere of Mount Analogue.

Above: Doubler Birds bathing Below: Doubler Duplex Nest - Mara Thompson

 Morning After Mulka - William Evertson

It's the morning after Mulka and the Self Gathering Nut Trees are migrating down slope. They leave behind many origami fortune tellers that Susan taught them to make. I've set up a lost and found on the groaning board next to the cooking hut. Still to be claimed : set of dirigible keys, a glove liner, harmonica, two tin whistles, pair of reading glasses and bag with 50 acorns.