Riders on the Storm

river walkway

For information, Escondido, *this* is how you do a river path…

We have returned to Pueblo, Colorado, which is currently on course for record rainfall levels in May.* Unlike Southwest Scotland, though, the rain seems to be concentrated in intense bursts rather than the sort of pacing-itself drizzle we’re used to. So today, although the clouds were building ominously over the mountains, we felt the need to burn off our lunch at Papa Jose’s by cycling to the secondhand bookshop to stave off the danger of running out of things to read.

Flooded bike path

Yup, definitely still closed

We were hopeful that the absence of a path closed sign on the river path meant that the flooding had receded but it quickly turned out that it just meant someone had stolen the sign.

bike path continues

It did look as if we could scramble along the bank some way and rejoin the path downstream, thereby avoiding the Enormous Scary Junction but after I spotted a snake in the undergrowth we decided that tangling with the traffic would be preferable, although in the end we managed to scramble up a bank and avoid the worst bit of the road. We then misread the signs (and by ‘misread the sign’ I mean ‘believed the sign helpfully directing bikes to the river path didn’t involve going over an enormous scary bridge’) and did enough riding in traffic to make tangling with snakes look like the better option. But we arrived at the book shop unscathed by either pickup trucks or snakes, and then found the slightly less scary route back to the coffee shop that gives you 10% if you come by bike where we sat in the welcome shade and had a giant coffee (the ‘small’) and watched the clouds get slightly more ominous as time passed.

Solar Roast coffee

10% off if you come by bike…

Then it was a simple matter of racing the rain home – arriving, very satisfyingly, just as the first drops began to fall.

storm approaching

* If any other drought-struck region would like us to come and visit and bring the weather gods with us to sort out their water table, our rates are very reasonable…


6 Responses to Riders on the Storm

  1. charles says:

    You are needed in Botswana today. I will be in touch with the appropriate minister. After two years of drough the dam in the capital is down to around 10% and there is water rationing. Obviously they still water the golf course(?) something that always happens in drought stricked countries with water rationing. I will be on my normal monthly visit in a couple of weeks and will provide a winter update…

  2. disgruntled says:

    When we lived in Swaziland we had a tent called the magical rain making tent because that’s what happened whenever we put it up. When we left we gave it to a farmer friend of ours but he might be willing to share.

    Golf courses being watered here too

  3. WOL says:

    Welcome to life at the edge of the Great Plains. Gulf coast moisture gets sucked up onto the broad, flat plains (we’re on the low end of the GP at 3500 feet), where the combination of topography (mountains to the west) and warm moist air create “cells” of thunderstorms. The clouds pile up higher and higher until they hit the cold air in the jet stream. The updrafts and down drafts and cloud rotation spin out these thunderstorms. — Where I live, we’ve been known to get an inch and a half (3.81 cm) of rain in about 30-40 minutes. If we’re lucky, the rain will come without high winds and hail. Right now, parts of Texas and Oklahoma have had nearly 20 inches (50.8 cm) this month alone. When you measure that against our average yearly rainfall of 16 inches (40.64 cm), you can understand why parts of that state and ours (Texas) are just flat washing away in flash floods.

    A note of caution. You are in flash flood country. It might not be raining where you are, but if there is a thunderstorm upstream, if you are in or near the water, you could get caught in a flash flood. Just saying . .

  4. disgruntled says:

    The flash flood thing has occurred to me (something that was drummed into us in Kuwait where dry wadis can all to quick turn into rivers …).

    Pueblo has had over 5 inches of rain in May … we’re waiting to find out if it’s going to beat the record

  5. […] But I (and you) will have to wait for the next thrilling installment of GarlicWatch because tomorrow we pack our bags and head to Glasgow (trains and weather warnings permitting) to fly the next morning to Colorado where we shall, hopefully, be seeing a lot more of the sun, and a lot less flooding. And hopefully, a restored river path. […]

  6. […] decided that they want to walk along the river path that a new river path has appeared through the formerly snake-infested undergrowth. It’s now wide enough to cycle on, with a bit of care, so we can resume our usual […]

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