Friday started as a beautiful sunny day. We did some exploring in the morning and came back to our campsite for the afternoon. We could see threatening skies off to the north, maybe 30 miles away, but we only had a couple sprinkles and some wind. Really wasn't concerned about the weather, it just didn't seem like it would affect us.
A little background to the area. In this desert like landscape, you will find many "washes" that are like dry riverbeds. They aren't fed by springs or snow melt, but only get water when it rains. We have a wash right next to our campsite (we are elevated 20ft above the wash) but also have to drive across a wash bed to exit out of Valley of the Gods Drive. When we arrived, the wash was dry and was only a little rough to cross.
Back to the Friday events. As we were sitting inside the camper, getting ready for bed, I noticed a rather loud roar. I stepped outside and quickly identified the sound to be a roaring rapids that was now filling the once dry wash! Unfortunately, it was dark out so I couldn't get any good photos, but it was like a raging river. The camper was completely safe since we were situated well above the wash bed, however, we were now stranded since we would have to cross the wash to get back to the highway. We were amazed how the rain that fell 30+ miles away came roaring down in front of us.
I was a little concerned about how this might affect us getting out in the morning. I was hopeful that since the rain had quit, the roaring river would dissipate as fast as it came. I ventured down to the wash crossing in the morning and while there was still water flowing it was shallow and didn't pose any problems.
As we explored the area the next day, you could see the washes that were short (bone dry) and those that were coming a distance from the north (wet).
The area shown on the right was completely under water but just a trickle by the next morning. Crossing the wash the next morning didn't cause any issues.