|Bob Wallace talks with Ranch Foreman Nick Harold at the|
Wind River Ranch and Christian Family Conference Center.
Nick Harold, Ranch Foreman, was present when water came crashing down the mountainside that sits adjacent to the ranch residence, offices, conference center, and horse corrals. He described the deluge as a literal wall of water. "We had 54 horses in the corral. At one point the horses were up to their withers in water," said Harold.
|Remainder of the mudslide on the mountainside above|
the Wind River Ranch.
To save the residence and conference center, Harold mobilized his crew who used the ranch's earth-moving equipment to clear mud and sludge to allow the water to keep moving. At the time of the flood there were 30 church pastors and wives present for a conference. "They all pitched in with shovels to help clear the silt and sediment out of the stream of water," said Harold. The group worked 20 hours straight and were rewarded by successfully protecting the structures from damage.
Once the structures were protected, Harold said he was almost afraid to go to the corral. He imagined it would be filled with horses in agony due to numerous broken legs, and that his next task would be to euthanize those critically hurt. To his surprise they were all unharmed. The new fence had blocked the debris from inundating the corral. He and his crew quickly moved the horses out of the damaged area and relocated them to their summer pasture.
At the end of the visit with Harold he invited the Red Cross visitors to share dinner with him and the rest of the ranch crew. "Our cooks are wonderful and prepare meals for 30-40 every night. Three more at the last minute will not be a problem," he said. They were touched by the offer and would have loved to join them, but due to the late hour and the long drive back to their headquarters, they reluctantly got back into their 4x4 vehicle and pointed it towards Denver.