Flood, part 4

Posted on: August 28, 2010

Once I got over my initial fear of plunging the jeep off those two narrow boards and into the depths of the 2’ deep creek, I traveled at ease over the make-shift bridge. It was much like getting use to driving thru 6” deep puddles for the first time, nothing I had ever done as a city-girl, and something I never thought twice about now. I will admit that I felt better about my driving skill when someone else, a local guy, did slip off the boards, and had to get someone to tow his pickup back onto the road. He had no business being back there in the first place!

Later in June, as I was coming back from a shopping trip to town, and on the long dirt road that led to our private road, I came up behind a very large truck with what looked like bridge pieces on the flatbed. The longer I stayed behind him, the more anxious I became, especially when he turned… into MY road! I followed him to the bridge, just in time to watch a crew use a logging picker pull up all of our hard work, boards and trees, and dump it off to one side. I parked the car, slamming the door, instantly knew who was in charge, and went toe-to-toe with him. My thoughts became words and I asked him what the hell did he think he was doing with MY bridge and didn’t he even stop to think that someone had built that because someone lived here and why hadn‘t I been told?? I was livid, and furious at not being informed about what was going on.

Apparently, this logger owned quite a bit of land up behind us, and needed the road and good access to log. When he had first tried to access his property that year, he discovered the wash out and our temporary solution. He had gone to the county, got the necessary permits to put in a good solid bridge, and was replacing it. This of course was to our benefit, but upsetting that we were not informed so we could be prepared for the six hours of no access. I would have just stayed home.

Much to everyone’s surprise (and unease), I climbed down the bank of the creek, stepped across stones and up the other side. I could hear the guys snickering over the boss being dressed-down by a 5’5” little gal.. a very angry little gal. I jogged up to the house in just a few minutes, told Pete what was going on, and we drove down to the bridge to retrieve the groceries… and so he could see I wasn’t exaggerating about the events.

As we loaded packages and laundry into the truck, another pickup truck pulled up behind us, also now stranded. They had the back filled with wood, bolts to be split later. It was quite common for locals to find the areas that had been logged, and to glean the tops for their personal firewood. The loggers didn’t mind as long as they didn’t get in the way, so it was a win-win situation: someone got free firewood, and the woods got cleaned up. This couple though, weren’t happy either about being caught with no way to cross the creek and go home. We introduced ourselves and invited them up to the house for a beer while the work on the new bridge was completed. Bob & his wife, Tedi, became casual friends, but never good friends. However, 12 years later, after Pete and I split up, the two of them are now good friends of mine, and we still joke about how we met.

It was a delight having the new bridge. A good solid way to cross the creek: welded steel I-beams buried into the banks, 4”x12”x 20’ treated boards, all wide enough and sturdy enough for their logging trucks. I met with the logger, the boss I had yelled at, and apologized for my outburst. Then I asked, politely for one minor adjustment to that new bridge. It seemed they had placed the second layer of stabilizing boards to fit the wide axel of the trucks, and my jeep didn’t ride evenly across them. He was more than happy to add one more row of boards for me. Later, I found out he needed to keep me happy. Another story.

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