Later in the afternoon, I took the advice I was given and walked south for about a kilometre (0.6 mi) along the Meat Cove Brook. In the elbow of the curve the Meat Cove Road makes as its turns past the Meat Cove Family Restaurant, a tractor road leads to the south. About ten minutes later, this road dumps you out at the shore of Meat Cove Brook. One can then proceed along the brook back into the valley, apparently for as long as one cares to walk. Before the 2010 flash flood (caused by more than 200 mm (7⅞ in) of rain in a few short hours), a trail (which I, regrettably in hindsight, never hiked) used to parallel the brook for some distance into the valley; it was destroyed beyond repair by the flash flood. I found the walking along the current brook bed very tiring as one is constantly having to move from one side of the brook to the other to avoid obstacles and the rocks and boulders and trees strewn about with abandon take some effort to get around; even when one is walking on stones and rocks, the going is not easy, as they frequently are unbalanced and tippy. This day, the brook did not have a lot of water in it; equipped with woods boots, I had no problem finding spots to cross it when I needed to. In a few places, the water might have reached a metre (yard) deep, but at most points it was at most a third of a metre (a foot) deep.
Photo #1, looking downstream, shows the brook at the end of the tractor road, which can be seen in the woods in the centre right of the photo. Not having seen the brook here in the past, I cannot say how much of the stones and rubble is new, but surely some of it is. Further south along the stream, I am told that small landslides during the deluge brought trees and soil down where they formed a natural dam that later burst; the gouging of the bare banks seen here in the centre of the photo was more likely caused by the rushing flood waters than by small landslides. In the photos of the valley I took in 2010 from the Meat Cove Look-Off, such as this photo, the brook was rarely visible between the overarching trees on its banks and usually the only marker for the brook was a narrow line through the trees, though this telephoto shot does capture some of the boulders along the brook; in the photos taken this year from Meat Cove Mountain, the brook bed is much wider and lined with rubble along its length, making it very visible from the summit even in wide-angled views.
Photo #2 looks upstream from the same location as photo #1. Nearly all of the valley here is rubble—the brook at the left is well below this level, much of which was clearly piled up during the flood. Trees, branches, root systems torn from the soil, just lie in a complete jumble here.
Photo #3 was taken further south along the brook, a bit south of the rock face on Meat Cove Mountain, and looks upstream. It gives a fairly good idea of just how high the rubble is piled up relative to the brook bed itself. In the two years since the deluge, the vegetation in this verdant valley is only now just beginning to recolonize the boulder-strewn pile.
Photo #4 was taken still further south along the brook, at the point where I turned around and started back; the broken and bent trees form, with the rocks and earth between them, a makeshift dam, though in this case parallel to the brook and so not impeding its flow. It is easy enough to see how, were it perpendicular to the brook, it could cause water to back up behind it into the valley, building the pressure that eventually would cause it to give way, releasing the pent up water with explosive force.
Photo #5 was taken from above the rock face on Meat Cove Mountain, looking straight down at the Meat Cove Brook below; it was taken with a telephoto setting, so objects appear to be much closer than, in fact, they are (at a guess, it’s about 230 m (750 ft) from where I was standing to the brook bed). I was struck when I noticed it by the helter-skelter jumble of trees that, from that height, looked like a pile of matchsticks. The force of the flash flood must have been some powerful to cause that!