Oboy. Big flood.

I lost all my alternate routes, and a favorite place.

That’s my driveway into the wash. Or it was. That semi-standing bush used to be several feet from the bank; Torso Boy and I made a u-turn around it on his thrice-a-day walkie. All gone now.

Last night it rained and rained and rained. And sometime after I went to bed the wash flooded, and this time it wrecked a lot of stuff.

The first thing I had to deal with was the local flooding, without even worrying about what the wash did to me. Those are the drainpipes I put in the drainage ditch behind the cabin so that I could bury my sewer pipe in winter. Before dark I actually predicted they wouldn’t stay in the ditch, and they didn’t.

The tiniest piece of damage had the potential to cause the most harm, but I’m in the habit of checking that any time the gully behind the cabin runs…

The greywater pipe from the cabin’s sink plugged with ash mud. No problem cleaning it out, but it’s important to do that.

Dig it out with a shovel and a hoe, unplug it with a stick, then run a sinkful of water through it and we’re done. Then I went overland to survey whatever the wash had done to me, and I found it disorienting.

Given that I can go a week without seeing a soul if I want to without leaving my own front porch you might find it funny that I treasure other really private places. Shady if not always cool places where nobody but me and some animals ever go. I was displeased to find a channel blasted through one such place, but that was just the overture…

A massive chunk of land I enjoyed hanging out in was gone. The wash cut a whole new shortcut channel through the middle of its u-turn.

It was strange and disorienting to have to walk uphill to get to what used to be the main body of the wash.

There was still a trickling little stream going through here but it wasn’t coming from the riverbed, which has now completely bypassed this section. This water was just draining from the clay hills to the north.

Happily the target stands are still there, though damaged and leaning. I need to go back and make sure they’re still tied down in case they get further undermined, though that now seems unlikely.

Once the water punched that new shortcut, the whole course of the river changed abruptly and the river began cutting a new channel through the sand. Ian’s Cave lost a major and potentially important part of its front yard.

My utility road from Ian’s place to the wash is completely gone, and since my driveway entrance is also gone I currently have no way to get the Jeep into the wash. Ironically that throws me on the mercy of the dirt roads, which are very problematic at the moment.

Oh, and we’re also about to lose that old tractor. I have no way to pull it to higher ground.

Parts of my intimate stomping ground remind me of a matte painting from a Star Trek episode: “There was a thriving colony here! What happened?”

Happily, all my anti-flood precautions to prevent damage to the Lair are working extremely well. It’s in fine shape, though it did spring a roof leak around the stovepipe after the first couple of hours of incredibly heavy rain. According to my rain gauge, which I don’t trust, the cabin got six inches of water last night. We’re almost twelve inches for the month. But I really don’t know how accurate that is.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Oboy. Big flood.

  1. Eric says:

    Not Gulchy, say it ain’t so. Maybe Ian will come and save her, maybe even get her up and running again.

  2. Ben says:

    Taking a long-range view, do you find this instability of the wash concerning?

  3. Joel says:

    It took a radical turn in 2017, and I saw something like this coming then. The only part of it that’s concerning is the erosion of Ian’s front yard; it’s not a threat to the structure and seems unlikely to become one, but it might no longer be possible to drive to the front without removing a very large juniper which I doubt anybody wants to do.

  4. Brian says:

    RE: tractor. That’s too valuable a Gulch tool to lose. Without it anytime dirt needs moving it’s all shovel work.

    It means some (more likely, lots) shovel work, but carving something of a ramp in front of it might give the front wheels something of a ramp to roll up IF the hydraulics on the front bucket can assist. And, simultaneously with that, the backhoe hydraulics can lift and push the rear end.

    Know anyone with a honkin’ big off-road 4WD that has a hefty winch? Pulling with a winch while working the hydraulics might be the ticket. The grader might do the job, if there’s a big enough chain or cable available, and a way to get the grader to the site where it can be used to pull. Graders have 4 drive wheels and some pretty low gearing.

    Probably a couple days for everything to dry and solidify, but I’d move quick as soon as it’s possible.

    Once the tractor’s out it needs to be moved to a very safe place where it’s much more safe from floods.

  5. coloradohermit says:

    Holy crap!! I hope that much rain doesn’t find it’s way up here. Some would be wonderful but holy crap.

  6. Terrapod says:

    Call everyone you can to assist in saving the backhoe/bucket tractor. It is indeed too valuable to let it tip over and get filled with water and mud. If you know how to run it, agree that with careful use of the bucket and backhoe you can drag/push yourself up that step to higher ground and create a bit of a ramp for the front wheels to go up..
    Reason for wanting assistance is to rope the top of the cabin and have enough weight/leg/arm power to keep it from tipping. Sure would be a good time for that grader to come by with some chains too.

  7. Joel says:

    Guys, the tractor hasn’t run in almost ten years. The injector pump crapped out for the second time and Ian decided to stop throwing good money after bad.

To the stake with the heretic!