|The peaceful Virgin River a week ago|
|The raging river at Zion River Resort Monday December 20th|
|Water pouring over the cliffs|
On Monday our plans were to get a morning start to Las Vegas to meet our sons for a couple days and then bring them up to Zion River Resort. It had been raining for 3 days and when I left the trailer to check in at the office and give them our emergency number the first thing I heard was the river. The Virgin river runs along the park and normally you could hear it if your rig was in the row next to it but now you could hear it everywhere in the park. In the office it was apparent that things were a little tense. This area flooded 5 years ago and that was when they had built the earthen berm to protect the campground. A USGS official was there explaining that the river was up and as a precaution they wanted the rigs along the river moved to the higher (only by a couple feet) part of the campground. Our rig was on the edge of that area and since we would be gone a couple days they suggested we move it. So in the rain we picked everything up, hitched up and moved to a different spot. We left everything pulled in since we wouldn’t be needing anything we could set up when we returned. The river was predicted to crest midday and then go down, we should be good so we left for Vegas to meet the boys but told Mason (the manager) to call if anything changed.
|Raining all the way to Vegas|
On to Vegas, got checked in at Bally’s and the boys called and said it was snowing in Cedar Rapids but it looked like they would get off on time. They did get out and arrived on time and got the shuttle to Bally’s and it looked like everything was going as planned. We had a nice dinner together and went up to our rooms to sit and chat. At 11 we got a call from Mason. Though the river had receded, the earthen berm was sprouting leaks from the continued pressure of the high water, a decision was made to move all the rigs out of the park. They suggested we come and get our rig, especially since the forecast was for more heavy rain and they expected the river to come up again. So John and I left the boys to discover Vegas on their own and headed back to Virgin. It rained all the way, sometimes hard, so we couldn’t travel as fast as we liked. Just south of St. George Mason called again to let us know that the staff was leaving but since we were on our way they would keep one emergency person there to let us in but there would be no power or light - things were looking worse and were really changing rapidly. I had visions of our rig floating away down the Virgin river.
|The river next to I-15|
At about 2:30 am we reached the resort and the emergency person let us in. The lower portion of the park was beginning to flood, but our rig was still ok. Bob (the head maintenance guy) had stayed to help us get hitched up and we were thankful for his help. After about half an hour we were ready to pull out. We‘d already decided to head to Las Vegas with the rig as even if it stopped raining most of the things we had planned to do would be questionable at best. The road into Zion National Park was closed and it would take awhile for it to dry out. Knowing that we were too tired to drive all the way back that night we chose to drive to the Walmart at Hurricane, about 15 miles closer to I15. We slept about six hours and then got up and started back. The Virgin river was raging and it was still raining. I got the camera out as we got closer to Mesquite NV. Not only was the river very high but now you could see waterfalls coming off the canyon walls that weren’t there Monday afternoon on our drive. We crossed a bridge before we got to Mesquite where the water was getting dangerously close to the bottom of the bridge; it made us glad we had decided to move to Vegas with the rig. We set up at Sam’s Town and went back to be with the boys for one more night at Bally’s.
We had a nice night together on the strip, ate at Margaritaville and took in a show at the Improv at Harrah’s. It rained on and off all night. Now we are all back at the rig, catching up on our sleep. Guess what? It is still raining, and actually raining pretty hard. Luckily tomorrow it is finally suppose to stop. So our plans have changed a little and we are making a new list of things to do here in Vegas. I am just happy that we are all safe, our home is safe and we are all together. That is the best Christmas gift of all.
|The family together again|
For all our friends and followers in the Southwest we wish for an end to the rain for all of us. We wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas.
|Gabe & Mitch....Cheers!|