Thursday, April 10, 2014

Forgotten Wreakage..

Much of the Country, more concerned with the latest troubles of the Kardashians and the most recent political scandals ... haven't given a thought... to real difficulties.

The dashing of hopes and memories... the near erasure of entire communities...

The summer of 2013 was the summer of the floods for Colorado... after a couple of years of devastating fires...

The Name for the continuation of living around here is Come Hell or High Water... Colorado Mountain Strong... from the burning hell of the fires to the raging waters... Colorado has taken it and kept on going...



Took off for a drive up into the Big Thompson Canyon area headed for those far blue mountains. The canyon runs up into the mountains pointing at those snowy peaks which stand above Estes Park.

It's coming up on a year since the storms. The damage yet remains. Years will pass before it is all healed. It wasn't just a little bit of water. From just west of Loveland on into the mouth of the canyon the damage begins and repairs are ongoing... for miles.

The town of Drake... was largely erased. Two or three buildings remain... the general store and the post office. Another across the road... but most else is pretty much gone. The cabins on the higher slopes are there... Rebuilding has begun.

The road itself, running up the side canyon appears to have largely been scoured out. Miles of pavement are gone. What appears to be largely fresh fill replacing it...




Bridges start nowhere... and end nowhere... the land gone on both sides...


This little bridge... had served what appears to be a pic nic ground or campground... served by this outhouse...


Not much of that camp is left...


Cabin after cabin, house after house left hanging above... nothing... those that were even left at all...

We passed great large areas of canyon bottom...scoured clean by the floodwaters... where I remember cabins and small farms...



Another pic nic / camp area... look at the picture above... the abutment in the center... used to be... the far side of the stream... You can see the fireplace and tables in the background...


Now... from the other direction... you can see how much land was removed... and this is miles of destruction above the confluence of this side canyon and the main Big Thompson Canyon...

Estes Park itself seems to have weathered the best... Though it was quiet in this early season... But along the main canyon of the Big Thompson river... Mile after mile of ruins...










These are just a few that remain to even be photographed... saw many spots where what had been there... was just... gone...




Here... they've already filled back in that whole hillside, which had washed away... below these cabins...


Crews and folks are moving everywhere with the advent of spring. Hauling debris, dumping fill. Tearing out the ruined... building new... picking up what's left and moving on.




Even the road that was built after the last great flood... designed to withstand such rages...


Was nearly lost... when the river ate out the rock underneath it. You're not supposed to be able to see those pilings under the road way. They'd been set into the rock of the river bed. Until the river removed the rock! They were repairing a mile or so of this sort of damage...

Wreakage... you look at what's left... and what you can do with it... and then you pick up the pieces, move on and get to work.

Brian

3 comments:

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

Thanks for the update. I've been wondering how things look. I went to school both in Boulder and Ft. Collins and spent a lot of time hiking and climbing in Rocky Mtn Park and drove that road many times. I even used to ski at HIdden Valley Ski Area, when it still existed. Sure looks different. Many lives were changed that day.

The Furry Gnome said...

Wow, I had no idea!

turnwhentheroaddoes.com said...

Thanks for this post. Knew it had to still be bad but WOW much more than I imagined.