Earlier this week we had three days of rain. Not a big deal usually unless the last day you get a lot, and the areas up stream get a lot. As the news reported, Austin flooded. The areas surrounding The Bluff received massive amounts of rainfall.
On Thursday, Don and I checked the river at the bridge near our house. Yes, the San Gabriel was up some and running fast, but the low lying pastures didn’t have much water standing. By Friday morning, water was across the road, and by the afternoon, we could see the San Gabriel from our back porch .
This is a picture of our neighbor’s. The steps that lead down to the river are covered. That’s forty feet!
The river is a dirty brown and full of debris. Logs, floating islands of fire ants, water moccasins. Three does and a buck were caught in the surge until becoming caught in a barbed wire fence. They were able to escape, go with the current until pushed they could scramble to solid ground.
More neighbors gathered at the end of the road. Boys and dogs played in the still water–as boys and dogs will do. The guys talked about how flooding like this hasn’t happened since 1991. A few of the women there weren’t even walking in 1991!
One neighbor launched a small flat bottom into water so the fire chief of our small volunteer department could check his house. It is on stilts.
The boat returned up the road to where we were gathered. Don pipes up that I would love to go on the river. After several comments of ‘really’ and ‘you’ve never been on the river?’ circled through the crowd, the guy driving asked if I could swim. A very legit question. I made sure there were life jackets.
I pushed the bow into the surge, very happy I had worn jeans. Soon we were trolling through what used to be a yard then into the main river channel. I was elated. My heart pounding.
In a few minutes, I got to see our river property from a very different perspective. I knew we had a big drop off, and Don had estimated one hundred feet, and he’s right. Tree roots, yuccas, and other plants anchor the colorful strata of the cliffs. My yearning to access the river from our house has grown deeper. At a bend in the river, we had to turn around.
All too soon this water will recede. It will return to lazy. And I’ll always remember rollin’ on the river.