Sunday, January 8, 2017

The raindrops pounded down on the helpless countryside like a staccato nightmare.

Well, that might be overstating things a bit.

Took a drive this afternoon to check out the water levels in the Cosumnes River.  There is a water level gauge at Michigan Bar, not too far from where I live, that is often referenced in the nightly news, so the wife and I, as well as Rascal the Dog, loaded into the truck and headed out.

Keep in mind that the Cosumnes has no dam on it, so it is an uncontrolled river, just like in the old days. When it rains, it comes up.  Often during the summer, since it has a low watershed, it will dry up entirely, even here at the bar.

Now, it's like an Amazon disgorging from the foothills.  Below is the one lane bridge at Michigan Bar.

Surging brown water heading for the bay.

The hills are shedding sheets of water, as the ground is finally soaked and all the new rain runs right off.

Someone wants to make it clear not to even think about hopping the fence.  Wouldn't surprise me if trespassers might get a shotgun barrel full of rock salt, or even a backhoe and a shallow grave.

Crossing the now mighty Cosumnes on the rickety old one lane bridge.

Lots of muddy, viscous fluid below.  Remember, that river is dry here in many years in September/October

Tiny little Michigan Bar at the bridge.  I think that is the much quoted in the news water gauge in the silver tube attached to the bridge.  We drove out over the hills from here for several miles, but the road condition kept getting worse, so we turned around.

The dauntless Dodge considers the wisdom of recrossing the bridge in flood stage.

Come on.  Already made it once.

Must have gotten close to the bank when turning around.

There is another week of rain predicted.  I'll keep an eye on things and post up if things get wilder.  


  1. Brings back memories. I grew up on a ranch a mile or so down stream from Tyler's corner on the south fork of the Cosumnes (also the Amador/Eldorado county line). The climate swings on about a five-year cycle from draught to toilet flush. I was five when we moved to the ranch in 1957. I remember a bleached beaver skeleton in the dry river bed. Some four years later, it looked like your photos. I delighted as a young lad exploring on foot in my rain gear. More than once I mis-calculated and over topped my knee high rubber boots. Good times!