By Joanna Bastian
Nothing happened this week in Methow.
Lightening ripped the sky to the tune of crashing thunder, igniting a fire above our home. Small planes roared above the columns of smoke, dropping lines of reddish pink retardant. An airborne bucket brigade deposited repeated deluges, dampening the flames. Luckily, nothing happened.
Looking all over the interwebs for any nugget of information on our impending doom, we learned the real name of “the ridge behind the house” is Vinegar Ridge. The rocky spine leads to a spot on the map that claims to be Vinegar Lakes. “Lakes” is a stretch of the imagination. Two shallow ponds, brackish with layers of rotting leaves and fallen trees are the placeholders for Vinegar Lakes. The water and surrounding marshes look like prime moose habitat. We went there once, but nothing happened.
A day after the fire on Vinegar Ridge, lightening ignited the sky again. Only this time when the bolts of light ripped the celestial curtain, floods of water poured from the sky.
Our neighbor Lyric asked me what caused thunder. Searching for a logical way to explain thunder to a 3-year-old, my explanations were all met with a confused frown. Finally I stated that Thor with his hammer was making all that racket.
With wide eyes the child finally understood – his real-life friend, Thor the fireman, who is also a plumber in Twisp, is making all that noise with his hammer. So Thor, you have some explaining to do.
With the onslaught of heavy rains, the crystal clear flow of Gold Creek turned into a thick dark torrent, heavy with mud. Soon the Methow River itself changed from blue, to cloudy, to finally the color of coffee with cream. But still, nothing happened.
Not like on June 3, 1948, when something did happen. Blanch Wagg of Methow wrote in the Wenatchee World of the effects of the rising Methow River. “We saw his house break apart and go. The water was up within one and a half feet of the top of the house. I don’t know how it stayed as long as it did. The largest house of Bolinger’s across from us went into the river and hit Don’s house. It broke apart and went on each side of his house. We are so lucky that no one was drowned. Until one sees the damage, they can’t believe it.”
Hunting season opened last week. We tied orange bandanas around the necks of our dogs so no one accidentally shoots them. Someone along South Fork Gold Creek fired a gun from their vehicle into our yard. A few days later more shots rang out.
A neighbor investigated to find a group of young men claiming to be hunting coyotes. They also claimed they didn’t know there were houses nearby. Among the numerous families who live along the creek, there are children, pet dogs and people working outside in the gardens, hidden behind the trees. A stray bullet could cause a tragedy. Luckily, nothing happened.