During natural disasters, life gets interrupted; rudely and profoundly interrupted. The current flooding that is occurring along the entire Front Range of Colorado is no exception to this rule.
Except in Dadland.
Experts are beginning to call the flooding here in Colorado the ‘thousand year flood’ and I tend to believe them. While flash flooding tends to be a normal component to living in the West, this one has many elements which are unique. Not the least of which is getting half the total annual moisture in a mere 24-48 hours; then doing a rerun scenario after a 12 hour respite. Western land and soilscape is simply unable to absorb such massive rainfall.
In addition, this flooding is not isolated to any one canyon, or stream, or floodplain. It is occurring in multiple places throughout the entire Front Range simultaneously. It is like having the 1969 Boulder Basin Flood, the Big Thompson Canyon Flood of 1976 and any other epic floods you can recall, occurring all at once, and then some. And of course, once the waters recede, huge boulders, tons of mud and assorted debris will be left behind along with the devastation of individual households, vehicles and lives.
I get it, this is serious business.
And then there’s Dad.
The day after my arrival, I sat on the couch with my friends in Louisville watching the early morning news. Segment after segment of unbelievable video recordings of areas we all frequent in our daily lives here in Boulder County and beyond flashed continuously across the screen. In fact, the roads my brother and I traveled from DIA to where I stayed my first night in Louisville were now in varying degrees of impassability. However there was a short window of opportunity for me to go out and do local errands, so I jumped at that chance.
While in the parking lot at the bank, I called my Dad to say, ‘Hi, I’m here! Can I come visit sometime?’ His enthusiastic response was, ‘How about now?’
“Well, it’s flooding, I have to check out road conditions.”
“It’s only raining a little bit here (in Lakewood). It shouldn’t be hard to drive.”
“Ahhh, okay, it might be awhile, bye.”
Such was my re-entry into Dadland; totally oblivious to the epic events surrounding him, innocently expecting instant responses to his requests. I felt strangely comforted by his hugely significant desire to see me. Afterall, this is the entire purpose of my trip. This is what I have come to do, have waited patiently to do for several years, and now the time has come.
Regardless of the circumstances. It’s all about Dad.
The irony of the situation is not entirely lost on me. Toodling around back and forth from different areas of flooding, timing drive routes around the re-opening of closed through ways and making sure whenever I’m on the road, I have an escape route; driving around in the midst of this historic event while being admonished by the authorities to not do so… heck, this thousand year flood has nothing on me and my dad…
While stocking up on groceries yesterday, I noticed all the employees wearing Broncos shirts. Oh yeah. I get to see the Broncos game. I hope it’s not cancelled due to the flooding.
I expressed my sentiments to the bagger.
“Oh, but, it’s in New York…you know, the NY Giants home game?”
I couldn’t help but laugh while I answered, “Oh! Of course, you’re right. I’ve been in Dadland!”
To my delight the two 20 something workers beamed at my Dad and winked at us both. It was as if as if they wanted to join us in our secret, uncharted land. A land untouched by anything other than Dad’s concerns; Dad’s needs.
Obviously, the previous promise to send off my ‘Goat Suite Saga’ vignettes during my stay here has been postponed until a later date. I hope you understand.
I’m in Dadland.