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Our Memorial Weekend Flood

Posted by on May 29, 2012

A nice rainy weekend RVing at Nome Creek with some of the Snow Travelers and new aquatints’. Trish and I headed out Friday afternoon with Destiny, Tyler and Mason (our grandkids) and made it to the camping site at Nome Creek around 6:30 PM. It was raining all day and was still raining by time we hit the bunks.

Quartz Creek Trail

The weekend trip was planned by Charlie and Peter, Pres and V.P. of the Snow Travelers as a continuation of the clubs activities, sort of. We had a fairly decent sized camp, maybe 30 folks in all, give or take.

Saturday morning Melissa and Sean, daughter and her boyfriend, drove into camp around 4:00 AM and set up their tent in the rain. By time I got up they were in their sleeping bags and the rain was slacking off. After breakfast every one headed down Nome Creek towards the Quartz Creek Trail. One of the few ATV trails the BLM built and maintains in the White Mountains Recreation area. On the way there Stoney, decided to see how well his ATV floated and ended up drowning it so he spent his day draining it and drying it out. Good thing the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful sunny and warm day.

Tyler, Sean and I were late leaving camp and joined up with everyone else a couple miles down the Quartz Creek trail. Sections of the trail were still buried under the snow pack and where we couldn’t break through we went around. As you can see in the 1st video we did have to do a little winching to get through one particularly wet spot, but no biggie except for poor Sean who didn’t like getting stuck. Ha, a few more muddy trips and he’ll get to where he’ll want more mud.

The rest of the ride was easy and gorgeous with a few more snow packs to break open that I’m sure all those following appreciated. On the way back out we passed at least 6 more riders on both 4 wheelers and dirt bikes and everyone was enjoying the day and ride in.

We got back to camp by early afternoon and it was such a nice day everyone decided to try and ride into the old dredge that sits down stream on Nome Creek. Ha, what an experience that was. Again, Tyler and I were late leaving so we tried to follow them and man was that an interesting ride. I know Trish and his mother would have had a fit if they saw the crossings we made through fast moving water that was deep in a couple of places, but we did make three crossings. At the fourth crossing I decided that it was too fast and deep even for me, I don’t mind getting wet but I have an aversion to trying to rope my ATV out of the creek while its float down stream at 20 miles an hour.

So we headed back to camp and took a shorter route back, cut through the woods and onto the nice hard packed gravel road that goes into the camp grounds. Once we got back everyone was pretty beat so we took a break for a bit and then Tyler, Peter and I headed out once more to hide and mark the caches.

The caches were for our own little mini Geocache hunt. Folks wanted to do a little GPS learning and practicing, so we hide four ammo cans with envelopes in them which contain one playing card per envelope. Each player had to draw one envelop from each can and two from one of the cans of their choosing for a total of five cards.

Sunday morning we all meet at around 9:30 and explained the rules, how many envelopes to get and that you couldn’t open them until the start of dinner, which was scheduled for 4:00 PM. Each player would end up with a poker hand and the selection of prizes would be based on the hand you got. No pre-open enveloped allowed, if your envelop was opened it’d be considered a card up the sleeve and you’d be nicked from the prize selection.

So Sunday turned out to be cloudy, rainy and cool, a rather miserable day but everyone was still into doing the hunt. After giving out the Long / Lat Coords and helping some learn how to input them into their GPS’s we all hit the trail for the hunt.

I decided to go to a location near one of the cans that was at the junction of the main road with the upper trail. After one group found the can located there Peter decided to head down the upper trail and see what the view was like and I followed him. Well I was already as wet as I was going to get so what the heck, I decided to follow the trail all the way down to Nome Creek and Peter followed.

We discovered that the trail had changed since either of us last rode it and folks were riding parallel to the creek to get around a new beaver damn that was flooding out the area. So we followed the tracks until we got to where we thought we could cross. I stopped and decided to look at the depth of the water, Peter decided to just go for it and so he did for about 2 seconds. As soon as I saw him bobbing downstream I figured I was going to have rope him back in. He lucked out and was able to get his ATV up against an embankment where I was able to toss him my winch cable and stabilize his ride. From there he was able to get onto the sand bar in the middle of the creek where he could get traction to finishing crossing. Me, I found a place where the stream flow was slower and the water depth more navigational. So we finished crossing and headed back to camp. Dang, but I didn’t get any pictures of Peter trying to convert his ATV into a Sea-Doo, maybe next time.

As it rained all day, folks wanted to have an early dinner, like around lunch time, so the tent campers could head back to town. Guess they got tired of all the rain and sleeping in damp tents. Can’t say as I blame them and kind wished we had done the same.

We did the card draw, gave out prizes, had dinner and relaxed in the rain and I spent most of the evening reading my book in the RV and hit the bunk early which as it turned out was a good thing. At 2:30 AM Monday Mark is knocking on the door and informed me that he was packing up and heading out and suggested we consider doing the same, why you ask, well if you watched the Nome Creek Cat Trail video you noted all that nice dry gravel between the RV’s where we were camped, then on the Flooding of Nome Creek video you note that we now have a creek channel dividing the RV’s. Dang Nome Creek crested its banks and flooded us out. The last picture in the photos showing the water is the road we drove in on, of course when we arrived two days earlier it was dry, it was now covered in 2 inches of flowing creek water and we figured we best leave while we still had a road to leave on.

The flooding

So we got packed and everyone head back home. By time we made it home the sun was out and the day had warmed up again. So I spent most of it relaxing on the deck and appreciating all those who gave it all so I could do just that.

Memorial Weekend 2012

Memorial weekend with the Snow Travelers camping on Nome Creek.

Got run out by flooding when the creek broke its banks and started a new channel right through camp.

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Nome Creek Cat Trail

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