From the Goldrun Junction towards Wall Street

I went on a hike up Fourmile Canyon, past the junction with Gold Run, towards Wall Street. I was impressed both by the natural destruction, and also by the human energy going into recovery. I’ll show some photos in this post, and I’ll try to give location info. This post won’t be as detailed as the previous few, though, as my GPS enabled camera broke, so I borrowed my girlfriend’s old SLR.

Also, I don’t want to be too invasive or voyeuristic, so I won’t post many photos of houses. I do have lots of these photos, so if you live up there and want to see conditions, email me at Scottbennett08@gmail.com

First, though, a bear:

Our front porch.
Our front porch.

Though we’ve frequently seen bears in our yard, I’d never seen them on our porch until the past week. This one has been hanging around and getting nosy. Our neighbor, who works for OSMP, speculates that they’re stressed because they’re trying to put on fat for the winter. Berries, which often grow low in drainages, have been severely damaged, so we’re likely to see bears getting bolder and more creative. Everyone, both in the mountains and in town, needs to secure their homes and trash to prevent bears from becoming habituated to human food.

Here are a few photos:
_MG_5608

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This is about a half mile below the Fourmile/Goldrun Junction, at:
40° 2’50.22″N 105°22’2.18″W

You can see the last post for more photos of this area.

This worker is deepening the channel and building back up the roadbed. Impressive!

leaning house 1 P1050988

This house, tragically, seems to be a victim of the creek’s new path. These photos were taken 2.5 hours apart, at 1:30pm and 4pm on 9.18.13. As you can see the house is slowly being undercut.

A small example of the flood's power.
A small example of the flood’s power.
Just up Fourmile from the junction.
Just up Fourmile from the junction.
clay hiking
A typical example of the road. There are many small streams cutting across the roadbed, and in some spots we had to hike up and around flooded sections.
firehouse
The firestation seems untouched.
narrow road
A narrow section of road just upcanyon from the firestation.

xcel

This little ATV carried a 6 man Xcel team into Wall Street. The road is cut off both and up and down canyon, but they managed to get over from Gold Hill on an old mining road. They were hard at work righting fallen power poles and restoring electricity.

assay
The Assay office/museum seems untouched.
old mine
This old gold-refining structure has been there for over 100 years, so I guess it’s survived more than a few floods.

long road

propane

Propane tanks were frequent casualties, and I actually spoke with a resident who claims to have watched one explode during the flood. Cuidado!!

A big mudslide, right at 5574 Fourmile Canyon dr.
A big mudslide, right at 5574 Fourmile Canyon dr.

OK, that’s all for now. As I said, I know mountain folks value their privacy, so I didn’t post many photos of homes. I have some pictures from 5161, 5216, 5311 5853, email me at scottbennett08@gmail.com if you live there.

Road conditions: Fourmile Canyon drive is passable to high-clearance vehicles all the way to the Goldrun/Fourmile junction. It remains closed, though.

Past the junction, both Fourmile and Gold Run are impassable. I’ve heard that it’s possible to access Sunset from Gold Hill, via the Switzerland Trail. Once in the canyon, a high-clearance vehicle can supposedly make it downcanyon to mile marker 8.

This is all opinion and speculation, and conditions are changing daily. Use your own judgement and travel at your own risk.

Road repair beginning

I hiked up to the Goldrun/Fourmile Junction on the evening of the 15th, and again last night (the 16th). I was amazed to see that significant road repairs had already been started in a few spots!!

It wasn’t clear to me whether the work had been done by the county, or just residents. I saw some rental equipment, and have heard that the residents around there are extremely resourceful.

Also, the road is definitely NOT SAFE and NOT OPEN! Please do not try to drive there. The repairs appear to be improvised measures to allow for limited access to homes.

Here are a couple before/after photos of the damage on the 15th and the repairs on the 16th.

It looks like here, and in another spot up canyon, work has been done to remove the undercut, overhanging chunks of asphalt. This is great, as they won’t fall off and pollute the stream.

40° 2’50.22″N 105°22’2.18″W

first damage
40° 2’50.22″N 105°22’2.18″W on 9.15.13
40° 2’50.22″N 105°22’2.18″W on 9.16.13
40° 2’50.22″N 105°22’2.18″W on 9.16.13

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In this next spot, the road was completely swept away. I thought it would take weeks to fix. But, sure enough, there’s a crude gravel bridge in place now. WOW!

40° 2’54.45″N 105°22’4.59″W:

40° 2’54.45″N 105°22’4.59″W on 9.15.13
40° 2’54.45″N 105°22’4.59″W on 9.15.13
40° 2’54.45″N 105°22’4.59″W on 9.16.13
40° 2’54.45″N 105°22’4.59″W on 9.16.13
Some heavy equipment, presumably rented by the residents here.
Some heavy equipment, presumably rented by the residents here.

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40° 2’59.66″N 105°22’4.42″W

Again, here one lane has been made passable, and some of the overhanging asphalt has been removed.

IMG_1564
40° 2’59.66″N 105°22’4.42″W on 9.15.13

_MG_5529
40° 2’59.66″N 105°22’4.42″W on 9.16.13

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OK, just wanted to update everyone on the impressive and fast work being done. Again, the road is NOT OPEN OR SAFE, please don’t travel there.

Fourmile flood photo survey: Logan Mill to Gold Run

In my last post, I looked at the flood damage to lower Fourmile Canyon, between Poorman Rd and the “Smokey the Bear” fire danger sign (approx. 0.8 miles from Boulder Canyon Hwy 119).

This post is a survey of the flood damage higher in the canyon, between Logan Mill Rd. and Gold Run Rd. All photos were shot between 6 and 7pm on 9.15.13.

waterfall

First, I’ll say that I found Fourmile Canyon Drive to be intact and passable from Poorman Rd. (where I live) up past Logan Mill Rd. on the evening of 9.15.13. This does not mean that it will remain that way, or that it’s safe to travel there. There’s the constant threat of further flooding, as well as rockfall. I don’t recommend travelling anywhere in Fourmile Canyon. Logan Mill Rd is inaccessible, as the bridge there has failed.

Access to Fourmile Canyon is only possible via Sunshine Canyon and Poorman Rd. There are a few damaged spots on both of these roads, and they are restricted to residents and emergency vehicles.

overview upper fourmile

upper map

About 0.5 Miles past Logan Mill Rd, near 4367 Fourmile Canyon Dr, the road is washed out and impassable to vehicle traffic. This is at 40° 2’50.22″N 105°22’2.18″W

upper fourmile pano1

first damage
The first road damage encountered when driving up canyon from Poorman.
downed bridge
This bridge accesses 4367 and 4369 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
The first damage is just below these mailboxes.
The first damage is just below these mailboxes.
Looking back down canyon at the first damaged spot.
Looking back down canyon at the first damaged spot.

The second damaged section of road is just around the bend at:

40° 2’54.45″N 105°22’4.59″W

It’s below 4451 Fourmile Canyon Drive.

The second damaged section. The road is completely gone.
The second damaged section. The road is completely gone.
Same spot.
Same spot.
Looking back down canyon at the second damaged spot.
Looking back down canyon at the second damaged spot.
The second damaged spot is just below 4451 Fourmile Canyon Dr. and this house, 4472 I think.
The second damaged spot is just below 4451 Fourmile Canyon Dr. and this house, 4472 I think.
The driveway to 4472.
The driveway to 4472.

The third damaged section is just up the road at:
40° 2’59.66″N 105°22’4.42″W

The third damaged section.
The third damaged section.
Same spot. This entire section of pavement appears to be detached.
Same spot. This entire section of pavement appears to be detached.
An undercut section at  40° 3'0.32"N 105°22'7.01"W
An undercut section at 40° 3’0.32″N 105°22’7.01″W

The next damaged section starts at:
40° 3’3.41″N 105°22’13.63″W
Just below 4726 Fourmile Canyon Dr.

This 250 meter section, to the junction of Fourmile Canyon Drive and Goldrun Road, is almost completely destroyed and barely passable, even on foot. Travel here is definitely not advised.

fourth damaged spot

pano 2

Mailbox for 4726 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
Mailbox for 4726 Fourmile Canyon Dr.

IMG_1588

There's no road here.  40° 3'3.08"N 105°22'16.87"W
There’s no road here.
40° 3’3.08″N 105°22’16.87″W
Looking back down canyon at the same spot.
Looking back down canyon at the same spot.

Coming around the corner to the junction of Fourmile and Goldrun, I was shocked. This little crossroads was a beautiful little cluster of homes. I can only hope that nobody was hurt when the water came through.

goldrun pano2

goldrun pano

collapsed

Looking up Gold Run rd. towards Gold Hill.
Looking up Gold Run rd. towards Gold Hill.

Again, please contact me at scottbennett08@gmail.com if you have any questions. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on missing people, please contact the Sheriff.

After the flood

UPDATE: I just posted another set of photos, this time of Fourmile between Logan Mill and Gold Run.

This post is a survey of flood damage in lower Fourmile canyon, between Poorman road and “Smokey the Bear”

The last few days have been intense living up in Fourmile Canyon. Over 7″ of rain on the night of 9.12.13 caused major flooding. Mudslides, from the 2011 burn scars up canyon, scoured the channel of Fourmile Canyon Creek.

puzzle pieces
One of the only pieces of trash I found in the flood debris, fittingly. Good job, neighbors, for keeping fourmile clean!
fireman boy
Father and son on the southwest side of the creek, near Smokey the bear.

This morning (9.14.13), between 8:45am and 9:45am, I walked down canyon from our house, which is located at the junction of Poorman and Fourmile. Staying mostly on the northeast side of the road and creek, I surveyed the flood damage on the road. I stopped at the “Smokey the Bear” fire danger sign, which is approximately 0.8 miles from Boulder Canyon (hwy 119). In this one mile, I saw many spots where the road was completely washed out, undercut, or flowing with water. Below is a series of photos, tagged with the GPS coordinates. They start near Poorman, and end at Smokey.

I spoke with a few residents who told me that, below the Smokey sign, Fourmile road was mostly undamaged, with just some debris on the road. If true, this means that the stretch between Poorman and Smokey is the worst section in the lower canyon. Above is passable via Poorman, and below is accessible from Boulder Canyon (if hwy 119 is open).

If you are resident of Fourmile, or just interested in more detailed photos, please email me and I’ll try to help. I have hundreds of photos of this stretch of canyon, all tagged with Lat/long. Scottbennett08@gmail.com

overview map 2

Overview map

location 1

pano 1
Looking upcanyon at the water on the road. This location had the greatest amount of water still over the road, so it was difficult to guess how much damage was done to the road itself.
flipped truck pano
That looks like a classic truck! Note the road is in the foreground, completely covered by water.

truck

looking down from loc 1
Looking downcanyon from N 40 1′ 48.4″ W 105 20′ 25.8″
fourmile pano
A panorama from same.

loc 3

IMG_1331
This was on of the worst undercuts, with almost the entire road surface gone.

biggest undercut

IMG_1344

IMG_1449

1267 map

IMG_1348
40 1′ 36.4″N 105 20′ 16.2″W
Just downcanyon from 1267 Fourmile Canyon Dr.

IMG_1350

IMG_1353

IMG_1354

IMG_1356
Bridge at 1175 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
I think this house is 1175 Fourmile Canyon Dr.  40° 1'34.82"N 105°20'14.36"W
I think this house is 1175 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
40° 1’34.82″N 105°20’14.36″W
This house barely survived.
This house barely survived. Not sure the address, but very near 1107 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
Same house.
Same house.
In front of that house.
In front of that house.
IMG_1437
The driveway bridge at 1107 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
This couple, and their pup, were on the southwest (wrong) side of the creek. They did find a bridge, though, and (I think) hiked successfully into town.
This couple, and their pup, were on the southwest (wrong) side of the creek. They did find a bridge, though, and (I think) hiked successfully into town.
Hikers on their way
Hikers on their way

map 4

IMG_1373

IMG_1374

IMG_1375

Taken from : N 40deg 1' 30.7"  W 105deg 20' 7.6"
Taken from :
N 40deg 1′ 30.7″ W 105deg 20′ 7.6″
Scary propane tank!!
Scary propane tank!!
Just downcanyon from the propane tank. Mailbox for  1033 Fourmile Rd. on the right.
Just downcanyon from the propane tank. Mailbox for 1033 Fourmile Canyon Dr. on the right.
A paper-thin piece of asphalt.
A paper-thin piece of asphalt.
40° 1’31.08″N 105°20’5.26″W
Don't get on the bus!!
Don’t get on the bus!!

IMG_1408

A surviving bridge!
A surviving bridge!

IMG_1414