About the Colony

Atascadero newsman still loves chasing the rain

I think it was Mark Twain who wrote that if it wasn’t for the rain, 90 percent of us wouldn’t have anything to talk about.

Or could it have been Will Rogers?

When I was still a reporter in Atascadero, my favorite “news” day was when the weather was fierce — lots of rain and wind.

I had a number of places I always went for a good weather picture. Last week, I visited a few of those places. First of all, I was delighted to see Atascadero and Graves creeks flowing heavily as they make their way to the Salinas River.

And speaking of the river, the “dry” crossing on Halcon Road was cut in two by rushing water weeks ago.

While I was in the neighborhood, I discovered “Grandpa’s Lake” is filled to the brim. In fact, I drove through about a foot of water to drive by the lake, which borders Los Palos Road at the southern end of the city limits.

Closer to the center of the community, drive on Curbaril Avenue until you come to the creek. No bridge was ever built there, but there is an exciting waterfall spilling there right now.

No check of my sojourn would have been complete without looking at the flow at what locals call the “steel bridge” on El Camino Real at Asuncion Road. The water was really bubbling over those large boulders as Santa Margarita Creek made its way to the river.

And who hasn’t made a trip around Atascadero Lake? As of two days ago, when I was writing this column, the lake was within 29 inches of going over the spillway. It had risen 6 inches since I measured it Saturday morning.

What a wonderful sight to see the lake filled for the first time in five years.

On a personal note, I have a 39-inch remote-controlled sailboat I love to sail on the lake. I built it just about six years ago, so I’ve only sailed it a couple of times. As soon as it warms up, I’ll be sailing on the lake once again.

About 15 years ago, I built and sailed a 5-foot model boat on the lake. I regret I sold that 12-meter America’s Cup replica and would love to buy it back if I can remember who I sold it to. The boat was large enough that when it was 100 feet offshore I could still see what direction it was heading.

All this rainfall has been wonderful to watch. When a bunch of friends get together for coffee, the first conversation revolves around who got how many inches in their rain gauges. From there, you talk about power outages and other minor inconveniences that go with extreme weather (such as the power outage that occurred as I was writing today’s piece).

What a wonderful time to be swapping rainfall stories.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 805-466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.