Monday, January 03, 2011

From the Bottom Up

We've been having a cold snap here and when I drive by local rivers and marshes and see the stiller waters with a crust of ice I'm reminded of the coldest cold snap I ever experienced when I lived on the East Coast.

Back then I was a hiker. My earliest college class was at 12:30 so I'd get up early and hit the trails for a couple hours each morning. There was a stream I'd often hike along. It originated from Bear Swamp Lake and it had a brisk flow with lots of rocks and falls. It was the perfect fly rod trout stream.

A stream with that volume of water and rapid flow rarely ever froze but it was so cold the water temperature was well below the freezing point and the stream started freezing from the bottom. The boulders on the river bed turned a ghostly white and seemed to glow. After a few days the entire river was frozen from bottom to top. The ice was thick and clear. While walking upon the stream I could see areas where the river still flowed deep beneath the ice.

I walked about a mile up the stream to the first waterfall and it was time to turn back. Though it was beautiful and amazing; it was still cold and I didn't want to freeze like that stream.


Blogger darev2005 said...

The first summer we lived in Alaska the wife and I were out walking in a park one sunny afternoon. It was probably 80 degrees outside, a beautiful day. An arm of the Chena river ran through the park and as we walked along it, I saw a large chunk of quartz a couple of feet under the water. Thinking about quartz and the possibility of gold, I stuck my arm in the water to fish it out. The water was so cold it felt like an alligator had grabbed me and was breaking all of my bones. It instantly hurt all the way up to my shoulder and I snatched my arm out and lay on the ground moaning in pain. It took two hours to get my arm warmed back up and functioning again. And I never did get a good look at that rock. I hope to never experience cold like that ever again.

7:40 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, it's a cold that stays with you the rest of your life.

4:56 AM  

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