Parks - Places

Spring Flood

Looking down from the picnic table

We spent the winter in Quartzsite this last winter, planning to return to Woodson Bridge in late March for the summer. In the last week of February we received a text from the Ranger there asking when we could return as camp hosts to Woodson as they were having vandalism issues and would like us there.

So, we returned the first week of March to start our summer stint in northern California. Everything was greening up and the quail had laid their eggs and although it was a little chilly, it was nice to be back. Then the mountain snow started to melt! And the Sacramento River started to rise!

Water across from our campsite

On a nice sunny morning we received a call asking if were okay where we were. I looked out and everything seemed great so I responded. After hanging up I turned around and the river was starting to flow down the street toward us.

We scrambled to put everything higher – emptied our compartments in case the water got that high – put a chair on the picnic table so that I could observe – and waited. Rangers called and asked if needed to be extricated – no. A maintenance fellow brought us a kayak – just in case.

Camp roadway. Notice the campsite number posts.

The river rose about 30 feet from normal and parts of the campground were under four feet of water. We were on one of only two high spots and were just fine. It was certainly exciting though.

That is our camp host sign.

The flooding lasted less than a day but the cleanup took three weeks. The bathrooms were full of silt. All of the roadways and campsites had to be power washed and the water re-tested.

About twenty five feet of embankment was lost.

We could hear the embankment fall in the river all through this. A slow, low rumble.

Picnic table under water
Our camp site

In the end there was no damage to the campground and the quail laid new eggs and we have a new regard for the power of the river.