|View from the porch|
The first was post Hurricane Irene. The ground was already pretty wet with the wettest August ever. Everyone expected Irene to hit Manhattan hard but in the end it wasn't too bad. What we hadn't planned for was the bands of heavy, heavy rain that hit upstate New York. More than 10 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. Then, to add insult to injury, another hurricane passed New York a week later (Hurricane Lee). For some reason it hung over our part of Ulster County for a very long time dropping another 8 inches of rain and causing the Wallkill river to flood once more.
|The flood levels for Irene|
|The most recent flood. As you can see the river rises every time it rains now.|
|Flood Waters from Irene|
|The road outside our house|
|Right up to the hammock|
|The rail trail - makeshift road that was better than Springtown Road|
My bus finally made it and we had a wonderful dinner. My first request was a large martini to take the edge off my frustrating bus journey - Daniel and the fantastic food of A Tavola made up for the rest. After dinner we walked up to our trusty Super8 motel so at least we had hot water and electricity that first night.
The next morning (Friday) we walked an hour and a half to the house, stopping on Starbucks as we went. The rail trails started off OK...it was fun, right? Beautiful day ....a walk along the rail trail?
Our smiles were quickly turned to frowns as the mosquitoes came out. There were thousands of them. Hungry and swarming. We had to walk with our coats over our heads and backs just to stop them biting through our clothes. The water got deeper and the combination was miserable.
|video -click here|
We would probably be perfectly within our rights to be mad as hell and really miserable at this point but the truth is the rest of the weekend was sort of wonderful. A couple of different things contributed to this. First, we found ourselves in the middle of rather a wonderful community. As soon as it was obvious we were staying at the house, all the neighbors came over to say "Hi", give us advice, offer us supplies or cups of sugar. Neil came over and offered us beer and showers in the morning while Susannah offered us wine when this is all over. We met Maria and her dog, Bob (of Bob and Carol fame) came over to check on us, as did Lee (the Gardening guy) and Richard (the duck man). Even Tom (of Tom and Colette) came over to check on us. Sure, we had 5 ft of water in the basement (and there was solidarity in that because everyone on Springtown had water in their basement) but we were all there, all in the trenches together and ready to help each other out. That's what Springtown is all about!
|Solidarity is... water in the basement|
|our brand new stairs submerged|
|The fields of Bradley Farm|
|Neil and Susannah's back yard|
|A tractor on "million dollar farm"|
|Canoeing video Click here|
|At the peak of the flood the house was high and dry|
|Close but still a few feet to go|
|Springtown road, 4 or 5 doors down|
|Looking up Springtown road|
|You can see the grey line of mud as the waters receded|
|Moon on flood|
|Sun rise in the morning|
|Grill with a waterfront view|
One last trip in the canoe and some tidying up and our flood disaster was over. It will prove expensive, it was very inconvenient but it was, in the end, a lovely and enjoyable weekend. Delightful in it's weirdness, unexpectedness and absence of creature comforts but I really enjoyed not being able to use the car, not being able to go anywhere and just making do with what we had...and what we had was magical.
|Sky on flood|
|Our trees in full flood|