Archive for the ‘Cache La Poudre River’ Tag

The Cache La Pouder River Rapids

Where the rapids flow

through Pouder’s canyon narrows

wild, white waters go.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

The Cache La Poudre river is a very popular one in northern Colorado for river rafting, but can be very dangerous when the river swells, spills over and causes floods from too much rain as in the Sept. 2013 flood. I took the video above of the river overflowing to levels of spilling over its banks making it dangerous to rafters. Below is a video link where you can view the video portion in Amazon where I have it saved in the Amazon cloud.

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/w0yGa2McIe1QQ4RkKg3jBz0lNz66VGLXtz9nidMRqTF

For information on the Cache la Poudre, click here;   https://www.rivers.gov/rivers/cache-la-poudre.php

Rafters on the Cache La Poudre River, northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, May 15th, 2015. We drove up to see what the river looked like after getting so much rain and got there just as these rafters were ready for their trip down. The river levels out here and is a starting point where rafters board their rafts for the trip down.  JEJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding the Poudre (Part 2, conclusion)

DSCN0024

 

Pam leaned over the raft trying to pull the paddle loose, caught beneath the rocks.

“Let it go. Leave it!” the guide yelled, trying to stabilize the raft. But it spun around in a whirlwind of churning white water.

She was jerked from the raft, pitched into the rapids. Her scream was drowned out by the force and strength of a river gone wild.

As she floundered about trying to swim back, the guide and others in the raft tried working the raft back towards her. But, as they came dangerously close to the ‘Big Drop’ the current was too strong. The raft went over and disappeared from view.

“No! Please! Don’t leave me.” She screamed, but they were gone.

Her only thought now was survival. Getting out of the river, climbing to safety and finding help.

Grabbing at rocks, anything she could hold on to, Pam fought the current, working herself across the river to the south side where it ran parallel to the road. A rooted tree limb sticking out from the shore beckoned her.

She managed to pull herself up, out of the freezing water. As she climbed the steep slope towards the road she thought about her friends in the raft, and Mike, their guide. Did they make it?  Are they safe?

She shook from the cold, soaked clothes clinging to her body. When she got to the road she saw emergency vehicles and rescue crews with Katie, their guide and the rest in their group.

“Pam! Thank God, you’re safe. We were all so worried. We tried to get to you but the water was…”

“I know. I’m sorry, Katie. It was my fault…” Like a dam opened the tears spilled over as she could no longer hold it back. Shivering, dizzy and barely able to stand she welcomed the warm blanket and supportive arms about her shoulders as the emergency crew made her comfortable in the back of their vehicle for the ride back down.

“Pam. We’re all safe. It’s OK.  The bus is here to take the rest back.” Katie hugged her. “I’m coming with you.”

The guide walked over to Pam and smiled, “What are you going to do next time I say, ‘Let go of the paddle?’

“Do as you say.” She said, smiling.

He laughed. “Sometimes Pam, a lesson is best learned when taught by experience alone. We don’t always see the danger up ahead, until it happens to us. It is the way I learned.”

“You?”

“Yes. I know from experience what the river is capable of at flood stage, but this is the beginning of our summer tourist season. The trip was scheduled in advance, and I didn’t want to cancel, or disappoint. So, I take full responsibility for what happened to you, putting you at risk. I’m sorry. Your next trip is on me, if you want to try this again, sometime.”

“We’ll see.”

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

This is a work of fiction, part 2 and the conclusion. Part 1 was posted on Monday, May 18th. My story is not related to, or in reference to any real person or event. Whitewater rafting is a popular summer sport (among others like hiking, camping and climbing ‘fourteeners’) in Colorado. The Cache La Poudre River is one of several that offers it. You can find more information on whitewater rafting on the Cache La Poudre River here. I hope everyone’s summer season is off to a great start. Stay safe and have fun over Memorial Day weekend.

 

Riding the Poudre

Rafters on the Cache La Poudre River, northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, May 15th, 2015 We drove up to see what the river looked like after getting so much rain and got there just as these rafters were ready for their trip down. This section of the river is just a few miles south of our mountain property in Glacier View Meadows, so we are always checking on water levels and conditions after experiencing the big flood in Sept., 2013

Rafters on the Cache La Poudre River, northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, May 15th, 2015

 

The skies opened up, and the rain fell, picking up with earnest intent as if to emphasize the weather report, “cloudy with chance of more rain”. The river was rising with water levels looking dangerously high in places. Pam was not an experienced swimmer. If something went wrong and…

Why did I ever consent to go on this trip? Well, I just won’t think those thoughts.

“Everything will be fine. Don’t worry.” Katie said. “The guides would not bring up a group if they did not feel confident they could guide it safely back down.”

Pam smiled at her friend, nervously adjusting the straps on her life jacket. “That is easy for you to say. You’ve done this before. This is my first.” And I hope, not my last. She thought.

They climbed into the rafts, each grasping their paddles and began to make their way down the river.

OK. I can do this.

“We should navigate over and between the boulders easily with all the recent rains.” Katie said, loudly.

The foaming white water swirling about their raft promised a cold, wet and wild ride. It seemed to pick up speed rushing at them from behind.

They were getting closer to the ‘drop-off’ ahead where the rapids cascaded over a ridge of rocks. The settling of boulders fallen from the mountainside during a massive rock slide after the big flood had changed the dynamics of the river. What was easy navigating before now became more challenging and the “Big Drop” as they called it, steeper. The guide had instructed them when to pull up their paddles.

Pam’s eyes got as big as the lens on her camera as she now saw what was coming. But, this was like nothing she’d captured before on her camera. Because it was happening to her.

“Now! Pull up your paddles.” the guide yelled.

Pam’s paddle was caught. She pulled, trying to free it.

“Now.” he yelled again. At her.

“I can’t! It’s stuck.”

_____________

To be continued…

This is a work of fiction. Part 2, the conclusion will be posted in a few days. Information on whitewater rafting the Poudre can be found here.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

 


Nature prevails

Oct. 7, 2013, less than one month after the most destructive flood on record in northern Colorado, Sept. 2013 Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The Cache La Poudre River, northern Colorado, Oct. 7, 2013, less than one month after the most destructive flood on record in northern Colorado, Sept. 2013
Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The water is stilled

Color dots the river’s edge

Nature has prevailed

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Liquid Gold

Misc 008

My husband took this picture when he and I, and our dog were out on one of our daily walks along the Big Thompson River in Loveland in the Autumn of 2012.  The reflection from the green-gold colored hues of the river made the photo all the more beautiful to me although it may seem like the water had turned rancid or slimy from the continual runoff over the rocks.I have found the river walks comforting and a consoling place to be.

On longer drives up through our canyons and Rockies west of Loveland we often stop and picnic by the river and enjoy the rippling sounds the water makes when it is running low. It can be very peaceful and soothing. The landscape changes from season to season and we have seen the rivers and lakes around here flowing over their banks when there is flooding from too much rain or runoff. Then, it is like the rapids, and roars through the canyons with a vengeance if full with high water. It has the strength and force of nature to wipe out everything in its path: village properties, resorts and canyons, as did the Big Thompson River Flood in 1976 that killed 144 people.   

But, we have also seen the water levels so low, from drought like we had last year that they nearly dried up completely, looking scorched, the ground baked and cracked. That is when the wildlife and birds leave to go find water elsewhere. The Big Thompson River and the Cache la Poudre River were running very low after a very dry season without rain, or adequate snowfall. When we took this picture we had recently received a good rain, refilling and replenishing many of the river basins. Colorado is still way under the required water levels needed to adequately provide for and serve the needs around these regions. When the country – not just our state – experienced the devastating wildfires last year, much of the water to fight those fires had to be drained from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. The High Park fire last year came too close to our own four-acre lot in Glacier View Meadows. But, it was spared. 

I hope things will be better this year and we receive the needed amount of moisture, whether it is in the form of snow, or rain. And hopefully the number of wildfires will be decreased substantially. We can only hope and pray we have enough and don’t experience another year like last year. It is why I call this ‘Liquid Gold.’ It is how I see water with a new perspective. 

***************** 

 

COPING WITH REALITY – The wildfires in northern Colorado

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coping with reality is often one of the most difficult things to do. One can only wish it was fiction, like the fiction I have written and shared on this blog site. But, life happens. Not all of it pretty. Not all of it sane. And in the aftermath of destruction, or chaos to see if there was any good that came from it maybe depends on one’s perspective. But, when we cannot see any, God can, and the future beyond it, if we believe there is a reason and purpose in His plan.

I will use the illustration of an event happening this week where  my husband and I, and our family live. Wildfire, the worst our county has ever seen has been raging through our region and mountains here in northern Colorado. We have waited through this entire week to see if the fires would spread further, hoping it would be contained. We remain hopeful that beauty will come forth from the ashes and embers burning our beloved Rockies. This is one of those difficult things to deal with, as I hope and pray for the rain to come and a rainbow to burst through the smoke-filled skies with a promise that God will bring new growth, lush  green trees, tall and erect, to our spacious beautiful mountains again. Colorado is my birthplace, a place I have always felt my true home although I have lived in other states and regions.

The devastating pine beetle infestation on the trees and their destruction is the only good thing I can think of that is the good to come from the fires. But, the destruction of homes and property where people have built their lives, raised families, or even just taken their families to picnic, camp out, climb a peak, or take a rafting trip down the Cache La Poudre River may be but only memories pushed back into history.

My husband and I own property in a part that sits in wait right now to see if it will be spared. We have had our lot in Glacier View Meadows for over twenty years now. Our grandchildren were just babies when we took them up there with us to enjoy the camp-out, campfires, smores, hikes, and family outings. The remains of five (dogs) of our family’s pets are even buried up on our lot. They all loved the wide open space, and roamed it, as did we all, enjoying Spring rains that preceded the blooming of beautiful wildflowers in the summer, strong winds that blew the smell of our fragrant Cedar trees, Douglass fir, and Ponderosa pines across the mountain’s landscape, and fresh, deep snows that promised a good supply of run off in our streams and rivers. It was ‘postcard’ picture perfect and we relished every picture of our secondary home and family refuge. Our collection of pictures and videos show it all the way it once was before the fire. But, the way we imagine it can look after the fire is one implanted in our minds and hearts we don’t want to keep, but have to cope with. It is reality.

So, we wait. And we keep praying: for the protection of the firefighters and rescue crews, for the wild life and animals, pets – large and small – to make it down and out of harms way, and for the homeowners’ homes to be spared. But, that is not the case as many have lost their homes in the fires. One life has been lost in the fire. We are thankful there has not been more. Homes can be rebuilt, new trees planted or regrown from seedlings popping up months later. But, there is no replacing a loved one lost, or a pet that lived a part of its life with one, now gone. 

Chaos, and catastrophic events ordained or allowed by God cannot be explained. One cannot know when to expect them, or even how to be prepared for them. But, we can be ready to go regardless our fate when we know the one who holds our destiny in His hands. It is ultimately in His control, and we must just deal with it, coping with it the best we can. I am thankful I know my Redeemer lives. It is what makes the coping with reality not easy, but more bearable. And it is with Him where I count it my real home, one day.

**********

   

,

 

%d bloggers like this: