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September 22, 2012: The Mighty Moose Creek

Moose Creek usually isn’t so mighty. It’s usually just a creek. Now it’s flexing its muscles and saying it’s a fast moving river. It’s not show time; rather, it’s flood time. Ye haw, bring it on.

I’d heard from various individuals that Moose Creek was now worth seeing, but little prepared me for what I saw. I rode Tinni to the Black Sands area. I could hear the roar about a mile away – and it grew louder as we approached it. I have to say that I was rather astounded by the sight, and so was Tinni, who when I got off to investigate, stood still, his ears pricked forward and his eyes wide. He was trembling a bit – I think that he

presumed that we’d try and cross. After all, we’ve done this in the past. I told him no, and he relaxed and began searching my coat pocket for a treat.

There was no way I’d cross the creek/river. The vast amount of water was very fast flowing, and brown gray in color. Seeing it gave one the sense that nature is far stronger and more powerful than the majority of us would like to admit.

I rode home and convinced Pete to drive us both to the end of Buffalo Mine Road, where rumor had it, the bridge had been washed out. This rumor proved to be true – the bridge, now on the very far side of the creek, was just a pile of mangled metal.

We could see where the creek/river had actually changed course, leaving in its wake the old route – we walked along the rocks and stones to the edge of the new creek/river. Again, it was mesmerizing to watch.

It all reminded me of when I was a teenager, and I lived a mile from the Genesee River – there was a flood and the river, which was a river, also grew in size and intensity. I watched as whole trees, very big trees, went over the falls, and were tossed about like toothpicks. I had never before, or after, seen water weld such force.

It will be interesting to go back and take another look at Moose Creek/River if say, there’s another rain storm. I saw places today where it was on the verge of overflowing its banks. If this happens, at the very least, parts of Buffalo Mine Road will be washed out.

There is a very bright spot in all this. The Usibelli Coal Mine Company won’t gain any support for putting in a mine next to a creek/river like this one. As of late, we’ve had a lot of strong winds and heavy rain in this area. Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell them something, like take your damn mine and put it where the sun don’t shine.

Next: 287. 09/23/12: Politics as Usual