At 6’6,” Ike Billings is a giant of a man. He is a sixty-six-years old retired ranch hand, part time bass fisherman and as direct as he is tall. It didn’t take long to get to the point. How long, I asked, before it’d be safe to get back on the river in his boat? He paused for a bit and said a few days
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