Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Difference Between Knowing & Seeing~

Downriver on the Sauk~
I knew the kids were fine.  Our youngest daughter left us a message not too long after the disaster had struck.  She was one of the lucky ones who have satellite reception.  Sat. when the phone lines went down, our Grandson Ben was able to contact his mother through Facebook - where they delayed his trip home from his Dad's in Everett.

By today - I decided that I had to go up & see for myself that they were all OK!   I took the long route heading north through Mt. Vernon to Sedro-Woolley, on to Concrete, Rockport & finally Darrington.  The trip door-to-door took two hours.  Once I arrived in Darrington, the number of reporters, their supporting trucks etc., seemed to have invaded what had been such a quiet, peaceful town.  The parking lot at the IGA was full!  Emergency responders were coming & going - a busy scene - but even in the midst of the controlled chaos - the somber feeling on what was a sunny afternoon was obvious.

(It seems any time disaster strikes, there are so many who use the public's hunger for news - to to promote themselves in whatever way - whether it be by bragging about the charitable contributions they've made, or further pontificating on whats already known.)   I decided Not to take any photos in town.
Newly logged land along 530 opens views of Whitehorse
I'd heard that the schools scheduled early release days this week - that was to have been parent/teacher conferences.  I headed over to the school & gave Ben a lift home.  On our way we checked out some of his dirt bike tracks under the power lines - where we'd hoped to ride together next week.

Our little granddaughters are growing like little spring flowers!  Both so darn cute & full of mischief :-)
Josie Lynn~
Skyla Jean
After lunch - Ben warmed up his bike as I was getting ready to leave.  
Ben & Skyla
He planned to ride the now wide-open trail along Hwy 530, as I headed for the Mountain Loop - with one more meet-up spot under the power lines.
Ben on his bike!
I captured this shot out the window of the Bronco!  He was flying!   I had to pick up speed for the traffic coming up behind me & hurried to make the turn to the power lines & get ahead of him!
Ben out on the power line trails~
I made it just in time to get this shot!  After saying our goodby's, I stopped in at the Darrington Ranger District office to see if they could confirm that the Mountain Loop was open.  The two ladies there deep in their own conversation, but finally acknowledged my presence & asked what it was I needed?  They told me that the loop was not yet open, that Snohomish County was in charge of the clearing & had run into ice about 14-miles in.  That it was very possible that I would be turned back.  They assured me that they would be the first to be notified when the road was open - I'd stopped at the right place. 

I didn't want to chance that - so decided to take the long route back.  Later I found out that the road was indeed open for traffic, so I'll take it next week when I go to pick up Ben for the weekend.

For us, knowing our family was OK - was such a relief.  Seeing them with my own eyes, getting my hugs & kisses...  made it Real!  Still...  bittersweet when thinking of what others are suffering through...

The people of Darrington & Oso are survivors.  They live where they do because it's where they want to be.  It's just so sad that Snohomish County allowed continued building & living in an area where there were such serious known risks...  Now - many - way too many - have paid for the oversight with their lives...

Post Script - three of my co-committee members on the Centennial Trail & Whitehorse Trail Committee live in that area.  It was a huge relief to receive an email from George that they are all OK - though they have neighbors that were affected...


  1. Glad to hear you guys (and the kids!) are safe. How terrifying.

    1. Appreciate that Dom...We have now experienced the wettest March ever recorded!


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