Life with an Engineer, Volume 2

A few months ago I wrote the post Life with an Engineer, describing life as the wife of a critical thinking, logical, and analytical engineer. I heard “I know what you mean!” and  “My husband is just like that!” from a lot of you.  A month or so later, on a trip to Colorado, my husband did something that has inspired another post.

We were staying in a mountain cabin with Brandon’s family this past June. On a sunny afternoon, we drove to a nearby lake to hike a short trail.

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When we got to the lake, we fstarted on what we thought would be a nice afternoon full of hiking and experiencing the great outdoors.

It started off well enough.

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It was all downhill!

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The trail wrapped around side of the lake down towards the dam.

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We hadn’t gone but half a mile when the trail came to an abrupt end at a gushing mountain stream coming from the base of the dam. We hadn’t planned on having a stream keep us from continuing on our hike. Could we ford it?

After some discussion, we concluded that we had to turn around and go back home. Well, heck, we said. This was a worthless hike! But No. Did you forget there was an engineer in the group? They find joy in the mundane.

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Brandon had been studying the source of the problematic stream while we all debated what to do, and said Wait! Look here. 

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He proceeded to describe how weather in the upper part of the watershed, where water collects and forms the river, had collected here and caused this lake to overtop.

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Excess water was rushing around the side of the dam into this spillway, causing the pool at the base of the dam to rise and a stream to form over our intended trail.

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He then pointed out a whirlpool in the stream, and explained that it was created by the speed of the water and x over mc squared times 4 to the tenth power or something. Whatever–it was a whirlpool and we were impressed.


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Brandon told us an entire story about what was going on in the natural world miles away from where we stood and how it affected the patch of land where we were.

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As the famous outdoorsman John Muir wisely said, When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. 

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Go Brandon.

We all went home contented.

 

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