Friday, July 20, 2012

Near Death Experience...Or Something Like That

I'm still recovering from yesterday. Still a little shaky; still having flashbacks. It started when we headed out to my parents' house yesterday afternoon, with our eyesore of a camping trailer in tow (our realtor agreed that moving it would greatly improve our curb appeal). Chad gets stressed when we're pulling the trailer, and I don't like the feeling of the extra bobbing and swaying the trailer causes. It was a long, slow drive to my parents', but we eventually got there. It took a while for Chad to unhook the trailer, and get it all leveled and stabilized. Then we decided to eat dinner before we left. Bree and Mason were going to spend the night there, and I wanted to sit and relax a little rather than just dropping them off and running again. It had started raining, but we figured we had a little time before it got bad.

We were wrong.

It's monsoon season in Arizona. And flash floods are so-called for good reason. We experienced us some flash floods yesterday. I didn't have my camera with me, or I would have some intense video to share. I tried to find some photos on the web so I could paint an accurate picture. But nothing could quite convey the thunder, hail, and massive amounts of water pounding us.

We were driving our big 4-wheel-drive suburban, so Chad drove right through spots where the dirt road was no longer visible, splashing through the rivers that had sprung up. I was already freaking out because it's really hard to tell how deep the water is, and I knew these washes have claimed lives. And my parents' cars. Then we reached something like this:

We decided to wait it out a little. Didn't want to brave the three-foot swells. After about 45 minutes, it had gone down considerably, so we forged through. And Chad kept on going. Water was everywhere. Not just in the washes, where we expected it to be, but also covering the road so at times we were literally driving down the river. And when we'd drive through a wash, where the water was a foot deep, we'd crash down into the water because it had created an eroded drop-off. I'd scream as the water washed over the nose of the suburban, and then grit my teeth, knuckles white on the O.S. handles as we climbed up the other side. Every time we'd come to a deep section, Chad would say, "I'm going." I employed the "vain repetitions" method of prayer, repeating "Please let us live. Please let us get through. Please let us live," over and over, ad nauseam. I went through all the stages of terror: body shaking, sobbing, teeth chattering, etc. Finally we made it to the last running canyon, and Chad, seeing that I was clearly beside myself, stopped. I got out and walked around a little, trying to calm down. We adjusted Lincoln in his car seat; he had been silent the whole time. Seriously, what kind of parents are we? We waited until the water level went down, and Chad found a stick to go poke into the wash to test its depths. He ruined his good pair of shoes, but was able to reassure me that it was passable. I didn't think I could take it any more, but he promised me it was fine. So we went. And that was the last of the worst of it.

Now, when my mom says, "You might want to head out; the clouds are moving in," I'll hightail it out of there before the rain starts, or stay indoors until the whole thing blows over. Those storms and flash floods are no joke, and there is no way I will ever go through that again.


Tina and Dan said...

Oh my gooodness! That looks so scary! I'm glad you guys are ok!

Heather said...

We are SO glad you are ok! We'll definitely think of your experience before we leave Mom and Dad's house from now on.

Frances Wallace said...

I count my blessings that you are all safe.

Kellianne said...

I so remember going through those flash floods as a little kid. I was too young to understand the danger and it probably wasn't as bad...but I definitely remember it! I'm glad you guys are ok!

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