Put to the test: trapped in Boulder Canyon floods

What was supposed to be a relaxing father-daughter retreat in Boulder Canyon turned into a bit of nightmare Wednesday night when the first of a few storms came through dumping more water than the area typically gets in an entire year - they call these whoppers "the 100 year flood." The last major floods were in '97 and '76. 

 View from Boulder Canyon house, just before the flood

View from Boulder Canyon house, just before the flood

We rented a home just 10 minutes from downtown Boulder with an epic view of the surrounding mountains.

On night one we lit a fire in the old-school fireplace, made a kale pesto pizza and settled into what would be our most enjoyable nature-tastic vacation. But no, at around 1am the storm rolled in and quickly swelled the nearby stream, washed away driveways, and downed trees with ease. Our neighborhood got it particularly bad because a transmitter blew and we all lost power and water. The next morning was so calm, the sky absolutely beautiful. It's kind of cruel of nature to do that - to rage on and on and then resolve to such a gorgeous sky. Anyway, the next day we took stock: (1) gallon of water, (1) gas grill, (1) gas-powered oven, (1) still warm hot tub, (-1) running water, (-1) electricity, (-1) internet, (-1) refrigeration. Luckily we went to the grocery store the night before and got eggs and bacon and a few others things for breakfast. We figured we could find creative ways to eat the same food for all three meals every day we were stranded.  Believe it or not, bacon gets old after a while!

So, here's how we got crafty and survived 3 days stranded in the mountains:

  1. Hot tub to the rescue: we used the water from the hot tub to fill up the toilets as needed so they were functional. Gross to think about, I know, but you do what you gotta doo-doo.
  2. Must. Have. Coffee: despite dwindling resources we couldn't go without a coffee fix and by chance I actually had a coffee contraption that made manual coffee making possible. So we boiled up water on the stove and enjoyed at least one creature comfort during this misadventure! I used the left over boiled water to wash my face each day.
  3.  Bath anyone?: On day three my hair started to smell. Really. In a desperate moment I jumped in the still warm hot tub with a washcloth and shampoo and it made for a highly effective bathtub. Thank sweet baby jesus for that hot tub. If I had thought of it, I should have brought my favorite dry shampoo...that would have been ideal in this situation. I'll take it with me when traveling from now on! 

In the end, my dad and I spent more quality time together than I think we ever had. We made smart (and some pretty stupid) decisions about how to get by.  We enjoyed nature at its best and worst. I'm really proud of the way we took it all in stride and found time to appreciate the bright bits!

 A rainbow appeared just after the storm

A rainbow appeared just after the storm

 The closed highway due to a collapsed road, missing guardrail, downed tree and who knows what else in between us and civilization

The closed highway due to a collapsed road, missing guardrail, downed tree and who knows what else in between us and civilization