Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dam Kids

I’ve written many stories here in the past about the Bean Field. This was field that used to be across the street from the home where I grew up. As I got older more and more of the Bean Field was developed. It started on the North end with a Ford Dealership and then the development moved South of that to include an A&P with a strip mall.

With all the development, the top soil had to be relocated to level the grade for the buildings. Graders and earth mover deposited vast amounts of soil behind the site for the A&P. This area was the final relatively flat area before a sand and rock quarry where much of a large hill had been removed.

A few small natural springs ran from the open ground of the quarry. They filled small ponds and puddle which became the rearing grounds for pollywogs. The tiny shallow streams eventually petered out and were absorbed into the soil. Only after a hard rain would they flow to another stream that went between the A&P and The Ford Dealership .

Me and a couple other kids played back behind the new strip mall. We’d always be rooting through the soil looking for arrow heads and fossils. We kept shovels on site, because that where we hung out on a daily basis.

One day we decided to turn one of the springs into a new pond. We rolled some rocks in place and covered them with some soil. A couple hours later the water had filled to the brim of the earthen dam so we added more rocks and soil. We got a good sense for how much water would build after time, so before the day was over we added enough to the dam to last through the night.

The next morning the dam was still in place and the water had risen but it had hit a limit and was being absorbed into the ground. We spent that day placing more soil and rocks thickening the dam so it would hold and we eventually could stock it with fish. We had a pond. It was our kid pond and it was cool.

One morning we were heading to the pond and we noticed a lot of activity at the A&P. There were police cars and heavy equipment and it dawned on us what happened so we gingerly went over to take a look. There were other kids there so it didn’t look suspicious when we showed up. Kids on bikes are the greatest looky-loos of all time.

When we got to the scene it was obvious that our dam washed out over the night. In a torrent the water washed out a couple hundred cubic yards of soil, sand, rocks, gravel and silt into the parking lot of the A&P. It was a non-volcanic lahar. Luckily it didn’t rush into the store, but a good portion of the south end parking area was completely covered by several inches of mud.

After that we laid low for a while and didn’t return to that portion of the quarry for weeks. There was mischief to be made elsewhere and mischief we made.


Blogger darev2005 said...

I did so love playing in the dirt and the water and the mud, tho not on such a grand scale. I built dams and redirected many waterways. I think my folks hoped I'd be an engineer. Alas, it was not to be.

7:48 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, I think the same situation produced a few engineers over the years. I know I still want a backhoe.

5:55 AM  

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