I remember, not long after moving to the desert, coming upon a broad, sandy dry gully that was labelled a “river.”
I believe, at the time, that I laughed.
After two decades of living in the desert, I don’t laugh anymore. The desert may save her rivers for special occasions, but when they come out (generally after a good hard rain), they come out in force, and don’t hold anything back.
So a couple nights ago, after a good soaking downpour, we walked down to one of the local washes to visit the river. We weren’t the only ones, because walking to the wash one of the things you do, after it rains.
(Best viewed in HD / high definition.)
The video didn’t catch the thick palm trunk, or the tree branch as tall as I was, that were both tossed downstream as if they were styrofoam-light. Or the tire that came rolling down the wash on its edge, as if it were surfing the river, until it was thrown back onto its side. Lots of flotsam and jetsam came floating by too, soda cups and water bottles and the like.
But always, it’s the water itself that most draws the eye and the ear, all that power roaring downstream.
By the next day, the wash was once again dry.
Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.