Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Three months of April

Marty’s photo of the day #4009: My wife, Deb, and I live in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, where, other than the far-right politics, there may not be a better place to live in the contiguous 48 states. Still, it seems that wherever a person lives, some bad always comes with the good. We’ve lived here since 1996, and we’ve never had as much rain as we’ve had this spring. It’s like we’re permanently stuck in April—on the coast of Oregon. Even so, if you live in Montana, you don’t ever complain about rain. We need it.

Okay, perhaps a little complaining is in order. You’re looking at Fred Burr Creek, which passes under a bridge, made from a flatbed railroad car. For Deb and me, and three other families, going over this bridge is the only way out. Our house sits at the edge of the mountains, on a wooded hill, one-third of a mile beyond this bridge. There used to be a back way out, but it is now overgrown with some fairly large trees and requires crossing private property.

Our railroad car bridge is tough, however. The worst is when logs come down the creek and get lodged underneath it. In fact, one other rainy spring we had to hire a crane to remove a huge log that threatened to dislodge our bridge. (We’re on a private road, which means we are on our own for all maintenance.)

I took these photos yesterday, and according to a neighbor, late last night a foot of water was rushing over the top.

This morning the water was down a bit, and I took my chainsaw, leaned out over the water, and cut two big logs that were jammed against the bridge. Then I had to fight the water to work the logs free. Deb also removed a jam of branches. It was an exhausting way for us to start our Sunday morning—but also satisfying.

The forecast calls for heavy rain all the way through Wednesday, requiring us to continue nursing our bridge until we can get through this three-month-long April. Fortunately, Deb did a major grocery shopping run just a few days ago, so if our bridge floats downstream, we can hold out for several weeks, while we figure out what the fuck we’re gonna do.

Recent Posts

Categories