From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Creek Not Forded

Time to turn around




I took a backroad in northwestern Todd County today, and came upon the creek in the photograph above. I've crossed it before in the summer when the weather was hot and dry, and the water was only a few inches deep.

Today, I didn't have the nerve to ford it. The water was nearly still, but the creek was much wider than usual,and I was afraid it was deeper, too.

If my low-sitting little car stalled in the water -- well, I could imagine some unpleasant scenarios. I would probably get wet, muddy, and cold. I would have to climb all the way out of the ravine before my cell phone might work, and if I had to walk back to the nearest house, it would be a couple of miles.

I cautiously backed my car uphill to a slightly wider place in the road and turned around. It took several maneuvers because I was afraid to get the wheels into the muddy ditches. Finally, I was headed in the opposite direction, and before long, I was back to the same highway I had left 20 minutes before.

No progress toward my destination was made on that sidetrip, but I learned a little lesson about creek fords in winter.

8 comments:

RunAwayImagination said...

A wise choice.

Collagemama said...

Reminds me of mountain drives on vacations with my ex. "Are you sure this is the right road?" "Are you sure that was the right turn?" "Are you sure this is even a road?" ...

Genevieve said...

I should have turned around quicker than I did. To be honest, I thought I was on a different road. Then, when I realized what road I was on, I didn't want to go back -- although that's what I ended up doing, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Was this on Rattlesnake Road by chance?

Genevieve said...

You're very close, Anonymous. This was on Flat Rock Road. I had forgotten that it was the one that fords the creek. I have never been down Rattlesnake Road, but that might be a nice drive next summer when the weather is dry!

Anonymous said...

Oh...then just trust me, Rattlesnake Road looks just about like your Flat Rock Road. I mean, you don't have to GO THERE...Rattlesnakes...and all...

My only trip there was in the summer years ago, the creek was incredibly high and there was no safe way to have crossed it. There was a roadway to the water's edge ( and through it I presume) and a roadway came out the other side.

You could not have paid me any amount of money to get out of my car. Just the thought of it even today gives me the heebie jeebies!

Nancy said...

Hi Genevieve, I've been reading your blog for a while now, but just had to comment after seeing this entry via your Rattlesnake Road post. We actually live near that crossing on Flat Rock and get lots of visits from people who need to use our phone after getting stuck in the creek. So far, there is NO cell signal in our area even if you climb up to the top of the hill.

We love this area though and can usually cross the creek without any trouble, but it's always wise to back away from it if you have any doubts at all. We've seen quite a few cars ruined when people got in (literally) too deep.

Genevieve said...

"... it's always wise to back away from it if you have any doubts at all." That's excellent advice given by someone who knows! Thanks, Nancy!

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