Saturday, July 14, 2007

Little Big Rain

As I set off for a casual mountain bike ride, I didn't believe it would rain. How could rain come from such puny far-away clouds? Two miles down the dirt road big fat drops plopped on my bare arms. I welcomed any moisture and charged forward in the cooling wetness. Then I relented and put on my nylon "water-resistant" jacket. The sky above me was still blue. Thunder cracked above the side canyons. I found some shelter under the canopy of an old Juniper tree. The huge raindrops turned the dirt road into a bubbling mass of miniature suction- cups. I smelled the steamy mud. Twenty feet away a new channel of foamy water gushed over the road to force its way to Alvey Wash. This new water-channel was like a hunting dog on a scent. Nothing would deter its course. I waited for the rain to let up.
Ten years or so ago, a big monsoon rainstorm hit our desert home. Our boys played in the mud and tried to block the waterways that played havoc through our yard. The trenches still exist. During the storm we raced to Alvey Wash and was rewarded with red rapids of churning water. Debris of tree branches, pine needles, boulders, plowed through the once dry bed. It took out chunks of the banks as it curled around corners. Expert kayakers would have had a hard time navigating through this force of water. We were in awe.
Twenty wet minutes later I ventured from beneath the Juniper and pedaled my way back to the house. It was like parting the red sea as my fat bike tires split the water. A newborn river crossed my pathway that had taken out part of the road stopped my passage. Patience. I walked up and down this new watercourse to find a way to jump it. Ten minutes later I forged through this brooklet. I made it back home, albeit muddy and soaked, pleased the monsoons have arrived.