Tuesday, 23 April 2019

California Road

It was a beautiful day today so I thought I’d take a run down California Road to see how much spring runoff damage there was.

There was still snow in places and the swamps and ditches were full of water. The road was muddy and wet but passable until I got five kilometres in, to find it had completely washed out.

This spot regularly floods in the spring, but usually just over the surface of the road. This year the spring runoff took the road out completely and even managed to shift the culvert (put in a few years ago to avoid this happening) about 30 feet downstream.

As I wasn’t about to start chopping trees to build a 30-foot bridge, that pretty much halted my forward progress.

Being a seldom-used back road, California seems to attract a number of people who view the world as their personal garbage pit. It gets particularly bad during hunting season when all sorts of interesting trash appears under the cover of darkness.

For example, this boat. A couple of kilometres from the nearest body of water larger than the puddle behind it, someone decided it would make a nice roadside attraction. Filled with rubbish, the registration numbers were all removed so finding the previous owner would be near impossible.

And this mattress, queen-size I believe, was left at one of places where hunters pitch their tents for a couple of weeks in November. Except for the mattress the site had been nicely policed and cleaned up, so perhaps it was some local left it over the winter and here I am blaming the hunters. Doesn’t change the fact though that some moron thought it was perfectly okay to toss this old mattress in the woods.

I just don’t get the mindset.

However in the making-lemonade-from-lemons tradition, I did find enough beer cans and bottles to pay for my gas.

Every spring the local community bands together and has a roads cleanup day. We make a bit of a celebration of it with a BBQ and prizes for the most outrageous trash discovered in the ditches. Mattresses are, unfortunately, pretty common, but I may enter the boat this year.


  1. I was on the Tatlock fire department some years ago and we used to drive the firetrucks up that road when White Lake station was part of our district. Not much chance of going there with a truck now. During the '98 ice storm there were people living up there, off grid of course. Maybe this summer I will have a look on my ATV.

    1. Even when it’s passable it’s in pretty rough shape. They used to do a somewhat reasonable job of maintaining the road, but the past few years it’s been lucky to be graded once a season.

  2. Given the big puddle in the middle of the road, the boat might come in handy, and if you up-cycle the tin cans (like plug 'em up), you might have something to float on as well ;-)


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