I’m living in one of those National Geographic videos.

Two best-of-decade floods in a week, and today’s was the best. The flood not only jumped the bank, it held it down and violated it forthrightly. I’ve got bushes that will never be the same, and I’m quite worried for the target stand. For a few minutes I was nervous for the Jeep if not for the cabin, and thought it might be best to move it to higher ground.

Little Bear may have to fight me for this corner of the new bedroom. It turns out to be a lovely place to sit and read. And that’s just what I was doing when the frickin’ Amazon River started crashing by.

That’s my yard those waves are pouring into, mister. The water was four or five feet high at the peak of the flood. Your average run of the wash is maybe six inches. And it was smashing along, carrying whole uprooted junipers probably damaged from the last flood.

There was a lull in the rain before the water level dropped too much…

Sorry, you’ve just almost got to take my word for this because the light is so bad. But if you expand the picture and squint, you can sort of make out my cottonwood tree – except it looks like a bush, because the water is up over the lower branches. That thing must have roots halfway to Hades because it never even shook – even when the uprooted tree crashed into it as the water level was falling. All the heavy foilage around the tree is gone, but the tree didn’t seem to mind a bit.

It’s rare days like this I almost wish I’d built on higher ground. Not quite – in fact the cabin was never in any danger of even being touched by water, and I keep reminding myself it’s actually built to withstand floods.

I’ve spent two and a half hours sitting by my window, drinking tea and watching the spectacle. It would have been very enjoyable, except that Landlady came up today – and is currently stranded in a motel in town. I had promised to meet her at the county road, but had to text her and renege. Thank god for ubiquitous cell phones.

Hopefully we’ll be able to make contact tomorrow, but the wash is still running heavily after three hours. It probably won’t actually stop till sometime in the wee hours, and even then there’s no promise the crossings will be passable.

ETA: Did I say four or five feet? It did a lot more than that at a turn of the wash just downstream from Ian’s cave. Water went over the bank high and hard enough to uproot whole trees, twist and snap them and hurl them all over the place. Looks like a bomb went off, I couldn’t even recognize what I was seeing at first. Not a polite little TNT bomb, one of those fuel vapor airburst things, maybe. An angry bomb. The wash flattened a grove of junipers, a good eight feet above the bed of the wash. There’s standing water and debris all the way to Ian’s half-dead fruit trees, which are nowhere near the wash.

It’s getting dark, I’ll try to get photos tomorrow.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to I’m living in one of those National Geographic videos.

  1. greg spera says:

    Hello Joel, I built a house with a basement in Pueblo West about 13years ago. Very few trees around here because of so little moisture. Something changed big time here in colorado this year. My perimeter drain pipe around the the bottom of basement wall has been draining water continuously since the big snow in May. 500 gallons a day at peak. That never happened in 13years. Still draining water today. That is underground water, not surface. My friends in excavating have told me they hit water in places you’d never guess that groundwater would be a issue. I can still see snow on the Green Horn from my house in late July. Unbelievable. I new something was up last year when the grasshoppers ate everything around my house and all the surrounding fields. I bet there was 30 grasshoppers/ square yard. It is not as bad this year. years of drought have came to end, for sure.

  2. Ben says:

    That really is too close for comfort Joel.

    It makes me remember one strange day when water was rising around my car’s usual parking spot, and the car was already stranded when I noticed. For the next hour I was busily jacking up my car and adding blocks as the water kept rising!

  3. Kentucky says:

    Cabin may be “built to withstand floods” but how about the power shed?

  4. Joel says:

    Powershed is distinctly *not* built to withstand floods. But it’s on higher ground yet.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Here I thought you were a penniless hermit but now see you live on riverfront property. That looks like a major flash flood!

  6. feralfae says:

    Glad everything is okay out there at the lair! What a marvelous adventure, just so every one is safe. Glad the new watering hole did not get the Jeep. Glad you have the new tires. Glad the house is safe. Glad you live where you do, so we get to read about the drama! Whew!

To the stake with the heretic!