Thursday, June 1, 2017

It's Noisy Out There: Stehekin Concert

Rainbow Falls Roaring!
Stehekin has a reputation as a get-away to the mountains where cell service disappears and the roar of traffic is far away. The image of solitude and sanctuary on the porch of a cabin rental with the relaxing sounds of birds and quiet meandering creeks is luring. Only the crinkling sound of turning the page of your novel intrudes upon your dream-state of mind. Maybe you are anticipating the deepest, mountain-air sleep, with only a  rhythmic chirping of a cricket by your window, and mountain winds whispering in your ears. 

Yes, to all of those -endearing qualities of our mountain valley.  Most of the time.

Not today. Today, it’s noisy out there.
Rainbow Creek Fierce!

Thundering, uproarious crashing in surround-sound with the volume turned on extra-high meets our ears today. The sound waves of  raucous Rainbow Falls seem to travel straight into our hearts. We know this sound of pounding waters, scraping boulders, and rushing muddy currents as a deep part of our lives. Spring runoff is powerful.

Today reached 81 degrees following a string of warmer days of sunshine and winds. Consequently, this is what the river does:
This scientific chart is where we look when we want to know exactly how far above that red line the flood is going. However it’s pretty simple in Stehekin. All we actually have to do is open the door: The louder the river roars, the higher the water is. During a 100 year flood, if you look down, the water might actually be flowing in front of your door.
 Water flowing into the roadway at seven mile, (Photo Credit: Samantha Courtney)

Today, May 30th, there is still anywhere from 9 to 12 feet of snow pack just north (and up) from us near the Cascade Crest  What does that mean? It is measured and quantified and projected and planned.  In simple intuitive terms it means: there is an enormous amount of water still to find its way down from the mountains, expanding  waterways, falling over cliffs, filling up forgotten paths, swerving around logs, pushing on top of shifting gravel, carving, clawing, flowing, coursing. . .till it is satisfied reaching Lake Chelan, and beyond. The river will definitely be singing to us this next month or so. Loudly!
Overflow from Boulder Creek finds a way to the river

Ah, peaceful Stehekin. Tonight, after the concert of waterfalls and boisterous currents, there came giant whooshing  powerful forty mile an hour gusts bending tall Douglas firs over in awkward angles,  announcing boldly the next movement of the Spring Run-Off symphony: Thunder! And Pouring Rain!

Don’t let these clamorous uprisings keep you from visiting Stehekin! Conditions promise to settle down and we’ll be longing for the rush of ample water in late August heat. We revere this springtime thrilling wilderness display just as much as we love the peaceful quiet summer evenings or silent snowfalls. It’s been noisy here today and tonight in Stehekin all right. We wouldn't trade our front row seats for anything.
Rainbow Falls, winter contrast (photo credit: Ron Scutt)
Find out more about us @: