when the walls come tumblin’ down

By Jim Stanford on May 11, 2011

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Some of you may have seen this video a few weeks back, after it was featured on the Cowboy State Free Press and I posted a link via Twitter feed on the bottom of this page. A motorist apparently pulled over on Highway 14A east of Lovell, in the Big Horn Range, to film the scene of a rock slide.

What the gentleman didn’t expect was for the rocks to keep on sliding. His narration is pretty entertaining. This is the time of year when the landscape comes alive, and the forces of water, erosion and even a slight seismic shifting can cause dramatic changes relatively quickly.

The Gros Ventre Slide occurred during the wet spring of 1925, and the Dog Creek Mudslide, which closed Highway 89 in the Snake River Canyon for three weeks, ran during a similarly soggy June 1997.

After a few weeks of travel to the mouth of the Big River, I am working my way back home. Arriving in Steamboat Springs yesterday afternoon, I discovered the creeks rumbling with runoff and the process of change in full effect. The next few weeks are going to be exciting, as the Snake surges and wildflowers begin to bloom. It’s my favorite time of year. Bring it, baby!

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Posted under Environment, Weather, Wyoming

5 Comments so far

  1. Thom May 12, 2011 12:04 pm

    A possible future Darwin Award winner.

  2. js May 15, 2011 10:27 am

    On cue: Snake River Canyon closed due to mud slides.
    http://www.wyoroad.info/pls/Browse/WRR.RoadClosures

  3. greg May 15, 2011 1:20 pm

    jim- any word on when it might reopen? wydot’s website just says it will be closed “next several days”

  4. js May 15, 2011 2:22 pm

    I heard from a Nora’s waitress that WyDOT is trying to reopen the road Monday, for what it’s worth.

    The slide that closed the highway is at Blue Ledges, a precarious spot where WyDOT did major work during reconstruction of the road.

    Most of the whitewater companies have not yet started running trips, but this is shades of ’97, when we had to put in at Pritchard Creek and float around the mud slide.

  5. Jade Beus May 16, 2011 11:27 pm

    The 1997 slide closed the canyon for a LONG six weeks. Sucked then Sucks now..

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