The Hooha Verona Crisis

Aren’t you glad you’re breathing fresher air today! One of the greater benefits of living in 2020 is more than vision. Now that many of us get to stay home and watch the cat molt, it’s less disturbing than I thought it might be. We have new little horses running in the wild at our place. And, there’s a new kitty running around under the Airstream and through my tarp covered out-door mattress. Some things don’t change.

Utah is offering free Verona Crisis testing this coming Thursday and Friday. I have to be there Tuesday to donate a couple of tubes of blood to make sure I haven’t been bitten by anything worse than a dragon or less dangerous than a housefly/horsefly. I think I’m safe but, I’ve been wrong before. It’s sort of like missing the funnies about why we’ve had to be here for two years without electricity. And, might I add that we are still hauling our own water? Thank You!

But, I willingly admit we have the view many would envy. Most times it’s easy to step out the door and realize this is heaven in its own way. It might storm and be windy all it can and wants; the heat unbearable and the cold deep and relentless; but it is beautiful and it’s home. Even my dreams lack the environment that we have here in my waking hours. Though colors are not so brilliant most of the time, springtime appears and changes all that was drab and shouts out blue and orange and yellow and green everywhere.

Last year we had more moisture than anyone can remember. This year we get the Verona Crisis. A crisis has it’s own life. Perhaps getting older converts to wisdom; maybe not. The world isn’t suffering from disease. It’s playing with fire! And I don’t think there’s going to be enough precipitation this year to put out a handful of tumbleweeds burning against the fence. And we have an abundance of them this year thanks to last year’s long snowy season and all the spring rain through June into July.

Most of us around here know about the canyon behind us on Carrizo Mountain. In dry years it was nice enough to run up the sheep and goats through the rough rocks. But, nobody is farsighted enough to tell when a May snow shower or severe thunderstorm in June or July can and might very likely send down and avalanche like most folks have never seen.

About twenty years ago I came down through the canyon in just that kind of thunderstorm we’ve heard tell. A friend and his big sheep dog ran out of supplies and we couldn’t wait anymore for someone to drive up the mountain to relieve us. So, we ran down the steep side of Pastora Peak (almost 10,000 feet above sea-level) into the canyon and crossed to the east side where it was easier to climb down through the trees than to navigate the boulders. Before Mike and I got to the fork the lightning became forbidding. It was right above us and wouldn’t stop. We got drenched.

Ike, the dog, probably saved our lives by coming from the fork back up into the trees to warn us not to go down there. I know I wanted to see. Mike was eager, too. From about twenty feet up into the trees, mostly lodge-pole pines, we heard what sounded like a train and it rattled like the same. We heard the water but what really made all the noise was the eight-hundred pound rocks the water washed down from the east fork. We watched for almost an hour while the canyon floor got rearranged.

Being wary, we began our descent and kept a lookout overhead for any clouds that looked like approaching wetness. I kept lookout for a place to climb and hold onto in case we heard anymore water or rocks heading down our way. It did sprinkle a little a couple of times and we had to scamper up hill once or twice but the worst was over, we thought. Besides, Ike had a good sense about him; certainly better than any sense I had in those days.

About half-way down we heard the crashing again from behind and managed to get up into the rocks and shrubs that held them together so we could avert death by rock and/or water. The canyon was very narrow where we were at that moment and it’s a miracle there was something to hang to for one. The other part of that was being able to climb back down into about three and a half feet of standing water once the second gully-washer crashed through. Half-ton rocks and walls of water don’t know how to negotiate with man or beast.

The lower half of the canyon was much better; a little wider and not so steep as the upper canyon. The sun even tried to shine. But the clouds, even though lifting, still hid the rays. From 60 degree air at the top of Pastora to the 5’800 level, the temperature was closer to 85 degrees. A 4,000 foot drop in elevation, in less than four hours will do that. I made that hike downhill twice that year. Mike did it three times with Ike.

That was the last of the rains for the day. Upon exiting the canyon to the right side of the next waterfall, we were left with about a four mile hike. I’ll call it the last hike with Mike and Ike and remember forever what can happen anywhere around the Four-Corners.

Personally I believe we’ve lost our bearings and are pointing more up into nothingness instead of keeping grounded in humility and staying closer to the Truth. He will make you free. Trust God!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: