Story by Catherine Stachowiak
Last year the Whiskey Flat encampment endured a mixed bag with the storms, according to Mike Woodward who directed repairs.
He told the Kern Valley Sun that, until recently, his team was unsure whether the encampment for Whiskey Flat reenactments would be completed in time for Whiskey Flat Days.
The week before dirt had been moved down into the encampment and heavy equipment filled in what hadn’t been completed, so deep holes were filled, and the area was flattened. More topsoil was being brought in for the following weekend.
Woodward said, “As far as the head waters are concerned, we’re just going to have to pray to God that the 60 or hundred-year flood doesn’t happen again because there’s no controlling that. He’s got the master plan. We’ve managed to bounce back. We’ve seen the lows and the highs and we’re just blessed to be part of this.”
Francis Moore, helped Mike Woodward direct the project of repairing the Whiskey Flat Days Encampment, early that morning.
Moore said, “This is not the first flood. I’m sure it won’t be the last. This is an amazing opportunity for us to really feel and experience the challenges that the strong people of this valley have overcome for a hundred years.”
The team was considering how the landscape had changed, and how they could restore it and utilize it as they move forward to share the history of the valley, Moore explained.
Hand crews helped prepare, the area of the reenactments, clearing things out. Then heavy equipment, large tractors, rolled in around 9 am to raise the floor of the encampment and build back up the foundation the water took out during the flood, making it into something they can build on. “This is history in the making, I think,” said Moore.
Crews attempted to make the road down into the encampment as safe to travel on as possible by bringing the dirt level up and making areas flat.
“Those big equipment operators do miracles,” said Moore. “They do wonderful things. We’ll see what kind of progress they make. And then next will be that fine detail stuff. God’s given us an amazing valley here and every once in awhile He changes it up so we’ve got to roll with it. Were making progress; the community is coming together and getting it done.”
Many volunteers showed up to clear the area. “Tuna” Steve Perron told the Kern Valley Sun that he volunteered because he’s retired and giving back to the community. “I think it’s a good thing. And I could do it. And I could leave any time I want. And I could come and show up any time I want, and try to do something to pay back,” Perron said.
Next the encampment crew expects to clean up for the tent area, corral, and cook station, and chuck wagon.
They have old drinking fountains
used to have cabins