Sketched March 25, 2014
Looking at the peaceful scene of the Stillaguamish River flowing past snowcapped mountains and rolling hills, it was tough to imagine the horrific site just a mile away on Highway 530. Days after a massive mudslide buried an entire neighborhood, rescue teams were still trying to find survivors.
Sueann Campbell, a Darrington neighbor, stood by the river with me while I sketched. She told me about her friend whose four children were missing, including a 1-year-old. “We are a close-knit community,” she said. “To lose one person is hard. To lose multiple people is devastating.”
Mother Nature can be so mesmerizing that it’s easy to forget about her ugly side. After the horror, confusion and shock of the past week, I hope the people of the North Cascades will continue to enjoy the beauty of this majestic landscape. For now, there’s only grief and the many signs of prayers along the road.
Sueann Campbell said her son Aaron was among the first people to come upon the mudslide. He was driving with a friend to Arlington, she said, and they got out of the car and started to look for survivors. “Mom, there are no words,” he told her later when describing the scene.
Rain poured hard as I stood under an awning to make this sketch of Darrington’s fire station. Across the street, hand-drawn signs of support for the victims of the slide covered the entrance of a grocery store.