Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flash Flood Chasing

Imagine the sound of water in the shower; now think about drops of rain hitting your roof; remember splashing in puddles after a summer downpour; then picture yourself hiking next to a flowing stream on the Appalachian Trail; finally hear the sound of Niagara Falls…These are sounds, images, and thoughts, are unfamiliar to the desert dweller.BUT, on Monday, January 18, 2010, for the first time in 25 years…

AMAZING!...Keep in mind, this is in the DESERT!

Here’s What Happened…

  • All semester I had said, I will leave here a happy man if I see flash floods.
  • While on my final Shabbat bike ride, Rabbi Michael mentioned the weather forecasts…LOTS OF RAIN.
  • Sunday afternoon, during our semester presentations to the community, we received a meteorology report from our professor. We were told that rains were on the way and we were going to experience a VERY unique event.
  • Since we had spoken earlier, Michael and I made plans to CAREFULLY chase the floods…

  • I awoke at 5:50 AM. With that feeling of doubt that always occurs when getting up early, I went outside to see if the rain had started. It was raining, but not the torrential downpours that I had imagined based on the reports. But, then I realized, it doesn’t need to be “torrential” for it to be serious in the desert.
  • Still dark outside, I went to meet Michael and his son Roi at the car for our adventure.
  • We drove up Har Ayit and began our hike with the UTMOST SAFETY…

  • At first it was merely raining.
  • Then, we began to see tributary streams forming.
  • After about 30 minutes of hiking and completely soaked, we got to a large wadi and saw some flowing water, but most was still dry. We continued…
  • In one corner we saw water foaming, we thought it was interesting.
  • In the distance, Rabbi Michael pointed out some water pouring out of a hole in the cliff. It looked cool, but it was far away.
  • All of a sudden, we see the foam become water…it begins to rush….it fills this 10-foot hole within seconds, and heads towards the cliff.
  • We move to higher ground…
  • AND, within in less than a minute, there’s a WATERFALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT!

  • Indeed, we witnessed the beginning of the flash flood!
  • People thought we were crazy, as inhabitants of water-filled areas, to go see this so early in the morning. BUT, it’s not often that you can see a natural phenomenon created!

In other news…

  • I’m on the road again.
  • I’ve officially left Ketura and made my way north. Thanks Ben (Langer) for driving!
  • Although my bags are already in my apartment, I will officially be moving in on Sunday.

More to come soon…


Shoutout #42: Sam Langberg – we have so much in common and it’s like we’re great friends, but we really only met once. I can’t wait to see you in May at Sulam Yaakov and look forward to a flourishing relationship!

P.S. If you have not read these yet, I think you’ll enjoy (well said, boys!):

P.P.S. And, if that wasn’t enough: