15 September 2013

Thus the woods are filled with this sound

The other day, while we were out riding together on the Arizona Trail, my daughter and I stopped off to the side of one of the trails we ride regularly to inspect a little check-dam she made a springtime or two ago.  She was pleased to find that it was working well, holding back a small pool of bubbly, dark-green water.  Nevertheless, she added a rock or two to the top of the dam to stem the water's egress due to the pool's rising tide.

And then, as she was crossing back to the bank where I was sitting, she slipped and fell in.

"This is such a, special, amazing summer," I told her as she shook herself off.  "I hope you're able to remember it when you get older.  This doesn't happen very often, when all the streams run in the summer."

I've been riding in these woods since I moved here in the summer of 1991 and I've never experienced anything like the rainy, muddy, flowing, gloriously wet-green summer we've had this year.

The record-keepers [July] [Aug.] seem to indicate that it's as wet this summer as it's been since 1986, and beyond that, going back some 50 or 60 years, otherwise without rival.

Broken records or not, it's been a super fun summer, easily the best summer for riding I can recall.  For weather watching, too; a few of this summer's storms have come through with a kind of massive intensity and persistent energy like I've really never seen before.

Even today, when all the weather wonks had forecast that we've begun a drying trend, it rained a little bit on my ride.  And, for what's now been about three weeks, every stream and every low spot is full of water, brimming over, and headed downhill via the path of least resistance.

Thus the woods are filled with this sound:


Ted Johnson said...

Yesterday I rode up Shultz Creek -- which was actually a running creek. I'm embarrassed to say this is the first big mountain bike ride I've done in more than five years living in Flagstaff. Your post helped me realize how special it was to ride through a running creek.

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey