Staff Stories – The Flood of 2013: Erik Jaanimagi, Field Instructor
“It was a dark and stormy night…Working a night program Wednesday night followed by an early morning breakfast on Thursday had me almost convinced to spend the night, the stars and forest nymphs aligned a
nd pushed me to go home, to sleep in my own bed. Great work forest nymphs!
…With no power, no phone, and no water, Leah and I started hiking down the road amidst a land of fog and waterfalls. Stymied about a mile from our house downhill through James Canyon by some firefighters concerned for public safety, we retreated through the pouring rain. Friday….we started to realize the extent of the destruction. No road, 10-15ft of debris strewn across the sections of road that hadn’t washed away, and no way for a vehicle to get in or out of Cal-Wood. Leah, Hombre (the dog) and I made the only logical choice. Continue hiking to Jamestown, check in with displaced friends, and then up to Cal-Wood to see the students of Fireside.
7 hours later, we arrive at Cal-Wood, hiking across the Homestead Meadow. Chinooks had been circling Jamestown all day, but one was coming in for a landing to evacuate a potential medical emergency and left as quickly as it had arrived. On the way to the lodge, we were stopped once again by 100 people chanting, “Erik, Erik, Erik!” A miraculous show of morale, energy and above all else, CABIN FEVER. A recounting of stories, an update on the conditions, a quick naturalist hike to Solitude Point and Leah, Hombre and I were back en route the 4 miles to our house before darkness hit.” -Erik Jaanimagi, Field Instructor