Back to the Pecos: Part III – The Flood

Pecos River Flood Photo  (1)

Note: This is the third in a three-part series about a trip down the remote lower Pecos River. Four of us set out on this journey on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 and four days later the river rose on us forcing us to abandon our boats and equipment. To read parts I and II click here: Back to the Pecos: Part I – Spills / Back to the Pecos: Part II – Wild Horses

 “…A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.  A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground.” From the National Weather Service (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/watch_warning.shtml)

“Humberto, this is Emilio. Just wanted to let you know that we got about three or three and a half inches of rain here in Comstock….you guys need to be careful…that’s all…just be careful.”  Cell phone message left on my phone by river shuttle driver, Emilio Hinojosa, at 7:15 AM, Friday morning.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pecos River, Mile 37 – 6:30 AM

Although it’d been drizzling on and off since just before midnight, the rain started in earnest around three o’clock that morning, and that’s when

Back to the Pecos: Part II – Wild Horses

4 Gartman Pecos Photos 1Note: This is the second of a three-part series about a trip down the remote lower Pecos River. Four of us set out on this journey on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 and four days later the river rose on us forcing us to abandon our boats and equipment. To read part one of the story click here: Back to the Pecos: Part I.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pecos River, Mile 10 – Breaking Camp

After getting our asses handed to us by the rapids the day before, we arose the next morning and boiled some water for coffee and breakfast while breaking camp. We felt surprisingly energized given all that had happened the previous day.

Lost on a River: Our ‘Yaks

IMG_4752Well it’s been a week since we lost a canoe and three kayaks to a flash flood on the lower Pecos. In a three hour period, a storm dumped 11 inches of rain into the sheer canyons where we camped.  The ensuing flood took all four boats you see in the photos below including