Maybe it's an artifact of my age, but when I think of a "sampler" it's along the lines of the needle-point sampler designed to teach a wide range of stitches, or a wood sampler displaying a variety of different woods from around the world, or maybe an old-fashioned jelly sampler, a quilting sampler demonstrating a diverse selection of traditional patterns, or a chocolate sampler with 4 good and 3 not-so-good-but-I'll-choke-them-down options,
but when I put "sampler" into an images search just now I got none of those. Instead I got thousands and thousands of images of electronic sound samplers instead.
Which is really ironic, in the coincidental definition of the word, because just a few hours ago I watched this video explaining why, in a poll of over 100,000 people, 29% of us turn closed captioning on only when we are watching something in another language, 2% of us keep captioning on all the time because we are deaf, but an astounding 57% of us keep closed captioning on all the time because we can't understand the damn dialog anymore!
Spoiler alert. That un-clear, un-hearable dialog, is pretty much on purpose. - - Which, while frustrating, is actually kinda good to know - the part where it's them and not me.
When I first started learning Spanish many years ago I would watch Telanovelas with the (Spanish) captioning turned on because I've always been better at reading than hearing. But then we got tired of the drivel coming out of American TV and movies and started watching a lot of stuff from other countries, naturally with a variety of accents. (Europeans are confused by our American aversion to showing boobs on the screen while at the same time we think nothing of showing salacious violence and gore that they find horrific. I agree with them. What's wrong with us?) Because of sometimes strong accents we often found it easier to watch some of these shows, even the ones in English, with the captioning turned on. And now we never turn the captioning off, for any kind of show, because it's so difficult to understand dialog in even the "unaccented" American produced shows.
It's nice to find out that's not because we are old (which we are!) but because the industry is using its audio technology to screw with us on purpose by mixing audio for the 1% or 2% of us that watch movies in those really expensive 36 channel, 360-degree-sound theaters. As a result the soundtracks most of us listen to, or try to listen to, are dumbed down by mashing and crunching those 36 channels down to 7, 5, 2, or even one, and presented on more realistic, ie. less clear and more tinny, sound-systems
So back to my original point about samplers.
My first hike of Garner State Park was a sampler of the various terrains the park has to offer.
I started off (1) with a little bushwacking through spiky scrub and scattered groves of mesquite and cedar. Followed that up (2) with some gentle, mostly flat canyon-floor hiking. Spiced that up (3) with a little more challenging trail along the river. Left that behind (4) for some serious hill scrambling. And washed it all down (5) with a little road-hiking as I checked out some of the man-made facilities on my way back to The Van.
This short encounter soon after I hit the Canyon Trail gives an idea of the moisture level I was dealing with that day.
It wasn't any drier when I made a quick side-trip
down to a beachy section of the river.
Despite - or maybe because of - the footing challenge ahead, I kept clawing my way up into the hills until I got to Crystal Cave.