Monsoon is a jackass to Joel

So yesterday morning I told Landlady’s sad tale of trying to visit her desert place at the height of Monsoon. It’s an old tired joke that she always brings bad weather with her, but I must admit this was a masterpiece.

I didn’t mention the other thing that happened that night…

Holy shit the wash just f*cking exploded

As the rain diminished I suited up and went out to see if the wash was running. This was mostly in the interest of determining if Landlady was ever going to be able to drive to her place that night. I came back and texted that the wash was indeed running a little bit but only a little and probably wouldn’t last long. I should have trusted experience a little more than that.

See, while I was out I heard this rushing, roaring sound which really didn’t seem to be explained by the wind in the trees. But the wind in the trees was still substantial, so I wrote the noise off as coming from that. I did consider crossing the ridge to see what was happening on Ian’s side of the horseshoe bend in the wash, but the lightning was still going strong and I decided against it. Turns out it would have been an interesting sight. I no sooner went inside and reported that not much was happening at the wash than – right behind me – the wash began the second-biggest flash flood of my experience with it. Remember last year? This wasn’t quite that big. Almost. Very close. Somehow more destructive.

So yesterday morning I went out to see what new wonders Ma Nature had decided to flog me with.

driveway
My driveway apron is gone again, of course. I’m hoping this time it dug out enough of that big rock that I’ll be able to finish the job and drag it out of there with the Jeep. Last year the rock was the main impediment to fixing the apron, until I was able to con Neighbor D into re-burying it with his backhoe.

The Plan B utility road to the wash from Ian’s side of the ridge was badly damaged when the wash jumped its bank…

utilityroad
Sorry, lousy picture due to the angle of the sun. I had to get an early start yesterday on account of Landlady being stranded and all. The road is still passable for the Jeep, but before I can use it…

treedown
I’ll have to tow away this entire fricking tree that the wash deposited right in the middle of it. Stupid wash.

Meanwhile in the middle, where the water sheets across, slows down and drops its silt…

barren
…that whole big field of baby salt cedar or whatever it is, which was just beginning to recover from last year’s burying, is buried again. If experience is any guide it’ll come back – seems unkillable.

That’s just the wash being the wash, nothing personal. But this shit right here made me mad…

target
Remember how, earlier this year when I set them up, we speculated about how the new target stands would survive a flood high enough to reach them? Well, here’s the answer. And which one falls down? The one I never got around to bracing, with its hundreds of pounds of top weight in the form of metallic targets? No! That one’s fine! The paper target stand, which I specifically lightened and braced and re-planted deeper, fell over forward. Forward, when it was already leaning a little backward against its braces! The wash can be a real dick sometimes.

But none of that was really the big problem of the day.

washout
Yeah, the road to Landlady’s place washed out again. Not as deep and dramatic this time, but enough. And even if it hadn’t, the wash crossing just downstream from this place was just scoured away. Scott the Road Guy will be hours fixing this – we never did get Landlady’s car to her place. I just ferried her and her stuff there on the riverbed in the Jeep. The riverbed is always nice and firm after a flood sweeps away all the loose sand that accumulates through the rest of the year, but it really isn’t advisable to drive on it so soon after a flood. At one point we hit a quicksand patch the Jeep just barely kept enough momentum to bull its way out of. But that was the only problem.

How high did the water get, you ask?

scourline
You can see the scour line against the cliff in this pic. I haven’t measured it, but it’s maybe seven feet high. Not quite as high as last year, and it didn’t come quite as high into my yard or do quite as much damage to the bushes near the bank. I did get some video of it from my yard, but I don’t know how to transfer that anywhere on the Internet. The file’s probably huge.

So that happened, and I’ll be a while repairing the damage. Houses are all fine, though, so no emergency.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to Monsoon is a jackass to Joel

  1. Zelda says:

    The only way to kill salt cedar is to nuke it. Digging, cutting, tearing out by the roots, burying, poison, fire, trampling by large herds of bovines or brontosaurus, being crushed by thousands of really big and really heavy pieces of mechanical equipment don’t discourage it at all. It seems to enjoy the challenge of adversity.

To the stake with the heretic!