Many outdoorsmen dream of having that elusive cabin in the woods, with a lazy stream meandering by so that drinking and cooking water is always just a few steps away.

Unfortunately, a meager mountain flood2!cid_image004_jpg@01CF8932stream can become a raging torrent in today’s crazy succession of extreme weather. The picture above shows the remnants of an unnamed stream so shallow it can’t support fish and becomes barely a trickle by mid-summer.

On June 14, 2014, five inches of rain fell in less than an hour in the mountains that feed the stream and the results were nearly catastrophic. A rugged road once paralleled the stream bed, but has become so eroded that it is now impassable, even by 4×4. Thankfully, no one lived along or camped by the stream or the results could have been fatal.

Streams are handy to camp beside for the ambiance of the babble and maybe a brook trout or two, yet be vigilant to sudden weather changes, as flash flooding can inundate your camp in minutes and turn an outdoor adventure into tragedy.

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Photos: Alex Shifler