Deer Tales: Day Two
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Day two. Tuesday, July 12th. We got up early to return the truck. On our agenda for the day was also driving up to Greeley to pick up the gold car, the girl, who was staying at her grandparents while we moved, the chickens, and to just come “home” to relax. You’d think that would be simple, right?
The truck was due at 11am. So not knowing the new “neighborhood”, we used the GPS to get us to Aurora. It was supposedly 50 miles give or take. We left at 9:30. Plenty of time. Ha! The GPS has this ‘thing’ where it wants to take you out of your way. In this case, by more than 40 miles. On dirt roads where at times 15 is the max (or your going in the ditch), this can be time consuming. We told the GPS no tolls. Guess what. It took us on a toll road, and by the time we realized it was coming up, there was no turn around. Colorado has toll roads where you don’t get a choice to pay in cash. It goes by your license plate picture. Ummm…we had two vehicles and one was a rental truck. We still haven’t gotten the “bill” from Penske about that toll. Anywho, we finally got to the city and had 20 minutes to get the truck delivered, but we had to fill the tank up first. No biggie, find a gas station. There’s one! We pull in. Diesel is out of order. OK, there’s sure to be more stations on the way to the drop off. Another one! Woops, they don’t sell diesel.
Another….another….another. By the 5th gas station we were freaking because we didn’t want to have to spend $100 on a late truck. Seven minutes ’till 11, we finally found a gas station that sold diesel. $125 later (ugh), we pulled out & had to back track a couple blocks to drop off the truck. 11am on the nose we ran (literally ran) to the door. We got the bill settled, and all was OK, but damn were we stressing. Big time!
Time to go up to Greeley to pick up the girl, the chickens and the gold car. Stress over. Grab some ‘take out’, and try to relax. The girl was staying at the grandparents while we moved. It was for the best. An hour mission at the house turned into four, of course. I had to stop at the store for some things, since there are no stores close to the new house (like less than 45 minutes close). Loading the chickens didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped (the dog crates didn’t fit in the back seats) so we ended up putting them in boxes. So, by late afternoon, we were off. In less than two hours we’d be home sweet home.
We were getting a little nervous because of the rain. But, we figured if it was raining when we got to the city of Bennett (last city with a major grocery store and a restaurant before home), we’d just wait it out. We didn’t want a repeat, and end up driving on the dirt roads in the rain. No way. When we got to Bennett it was blue skies, and clear to the south east. Cool. Almost home!
Just as we crossed out of Byers (one of the towns outside the area we live) onto the dirt road, BAM! Rain. OK, it wasn’t too bad. We did this yesterday. We thought we were good enough to drive the dirt roads in the rain. Wrong! About 5-10 miles in, it hit. The rain became unrelenting. The roads were slippery. We couldn’t see but less than 100′ ahead of us. The roads were flooding. What were we supposed to do? When you’re on the highway or city streets and it gets too much for you to handle, you pull off onto the shoulder, or into the nearest parking lot and wait it out. Not out here. There is nowhere to pull off. On both sides of the road is a 2-3′ ditch (for water run-off), so that was out of the question. Just stop? I mean, there’s no one on the roads. Nope, you’ll sink, or slide sideways into said ditch. So we just kept at it. Slowly.
Oh shit, what was that ahead? The road had a flow of water across it. Now, I KNOW you are not supposed to drive across it. Never drive over running water going across the road. But we didn’t have a choice. Sink, slide, or cross.
We were trying to decide what to do, and we knew if we didn’t go soon, the tires would be packed with mud. So, we crossed it, at an angle. We were OK. We ended up passing two more of these road floods on our way home that evening. (Later, when hubby had talked to the fire dept. about it, the chief told us we made the right choice. If we would have stayed there, the car would have either sunk to 1/2 the tire or slid right off the road).
The rain got worse. It started to hail. I couldn’t see beyond my hood. We passed a car in the ditch…but we couldn’t stop. We really wanted to stop to make sure they were OK, but we couldn’t, we’d be stuck too. So we kept going. My daughter was in the car ahead of me with the hubby. She was so scared she was crying. Hubby had to ‘yell’ over the sound of the rain, to tell her, “It’ll be alright”, and calm her down. I, in the car behind them was scared shitless to be honest. The car was fishtailing, sliding, and the defogger wasn’t working. I had to have the window down to help with the fogging window. I was getting pelted with cherry tomato size hail. I had to keep wiping the windshield with one hand while I had a death-grip on the wheel with the other. I couldn’t see hubby’s lights in front of me. I couldn’t see the sides of the road. The roads twist & turn, and I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to follow it through this. Thankfully in this direction (unlike coming north from Kiowa) the hills aren’t very steep. We could keep traction enough not to slide backwards. I was panicked, but I kept at it. I wanted to pull off, but I couldn’t. I didn’t cry….surprisingly. Yet.
The hail subsided, the rain let up a little and I could see about a car length or two ahead of me. Another two miles and we’d be home. Getting home alive and have a couple beers sounded really good right about now. OMG – is that the blue roof I see? Woot! We made it. We’re alive. Deep breath…
We walked up to the door. My step son and my son had stayed at the house while we were gone all day. Jonathan comes up, and says, “We have a little problem”. I swear I was about to collapse as it was. A problem? I couldn’t handle much more. So, we followed him into the basement. The basement which had our couches, wood furniture, TV, consoles and other electronics, our boxes of books, and other stuff. The basement was going to be our ‘Family Room’ and office. Was.
We got down there, and there was water pouring from the windows. It was coming in from the wall. Three quarters of the basement was flooded with over an inch of water, on top of what was soaked into the carpet & foam padding. Assessing the problem, I could see water pouring in from the casement windows, so I went outside and started baling water. But it was too much. The gutters were packed with pine needles, and water was washing down from the roof, against the house.
The earth had eroded away, and there was no slope to keep the rain from pooling against the house. It was flooding through the sides of the casement. I went inside and emptied plastic containers & took them outside to try to catch some of the water off the roof. We didn’t have a ladder, so we couldn’t empty the gutters right then.
We did what we could, but it was a lost cause. The rain was coming down in sheets. It had started to hail again. Going downstairs, we tried to catch the water coming in through the windows.
We tried to mop up the water as it flooded, but it was coming in from behind the wall, between the wood panels, and the cement wall. Sand was flooding in as well. We moved all our stuff to the south end of the basement where there were no windows. The door on that side (walk-out basement) wasn’t leaking. Whew.
The carpet on the north, east & west sides of the basement were ruined. Two days later when I finally removed the carpet & padding, it was still soaked. The wood walls, drywall, tack strips, and carpeting all need to be replaced…but that will have to wait.After giving up with the basement, I went upstairs to find that the sliding glass door to the workout room was leaking in. This is where the boys dumped all the misc. boxes & stuff from the truck. It was packed, wall to wall with things.
That’s when I broke down & cried. I just couldn’t take anymore. I moved boxes out of the way of the water, but I was beat. I was depressed. I was done. I wanted to leave. I hated this house. I couldn’t believe such bad luck. What in the world did I do to deserve all this shit coming down on me? When the rain finally stopped, I was too deflated to do anything. I was even too punked out to update facebook on the horrors of the day. Now that’s bad!
Since this, we have heard from numerous people that this was a freak rainstorm. “Never in eight years have I seen such…” Other people had some minor casement window flooding. Some debris flooded into their land, etc. Although it’s good to know this kind of thing was mostly preventable had the gutters not been packed, and that this was not a usual occurrence, but damn! On our first whole day here. It just set a real bad tone for the place, ya know. If it had been six months, or a year, it wouldn’t have been so traumatic.
Unfortunately this set the tone of the house. I’ve always hated the house since then. I never got my love back. It’s been one heartache after another since day one.