Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1, 2007 Bonus Blog
More storm stories. Virtually everyone I ran into today was stuck somewhere last night and couldn't get home. Debbie at the bank said she was stuck for two hours on the south side of a wash in north Scottsdale, and everyone else had similiar deluge stories.

At one point last night, the sheriff who was guarding the Grapevine crossing, tacitly mentioned that no sheriff's were at the School House crossing (a half mile east) and that he had heard several trucks had made it through. Several of us took his "advice" and drove back around through town and up the hill on School House Road. At the crest of the hill is where we shot the Royal Wade Kimes travel cover (April, 2007), and cars were backed up all the way to there.

Parked, left the car and walked down the hill. Got to the raging torrent, recognized the mayor of Cave Creek, Vincent Francia, walked right up next to him, pretended I didn't see him and yelled out, "Damn I wish the mayor was here! He'd know what to do!" Everyone laughed. The Schoolhouse crossing was even worse than Grapevine, with big, eight foot chunks missing from the roadway and shafts of dirty water, churing across them, digging out the ground beneath into dangerous, deep holes. One guy yelled (the water was quite loud) that the water took out a big Palo Verde tree and he wondered how far it went. I told him I knew exactly where it landed: right in the middle of Spur Cross Road on the north bank (the grader pushed it out of the way at about 10:45).

Someone mentioned how amazing it was to see water do this, and the mayor quoted the bible, something about "when the soft conquers the hard" (help me Jesus People), which I had never heard, being a Jack Lutheran, but was quite cool, and true. Water is so "soft," and pliable, harmless really, but get enough of it going in the same direction and it will destroy boulders and 60-year-old men in Fords.

Case in point: Harold, from Tucson forwarded me this news piece involving a guy, my same age, driving a Ford, but making poorer choices:

That easily could have been me. Still, as dangerous as all of this is, there are those who dig it:

"Ahh, the good ol' days. We used to get gully washers like yours here in the Coachella Valley when I first moved down here. But not lately. Either the climate has changed drastically or the run-off situation has been upgraded by building more catch basins and cement-lined washes. I don't know why, but when I read about your being caught in that storm, I wished I was you."
—Steve Lodge

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
—Groucho Marx

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