'You can hear eagles': For many, the mudslide risks were outweighed by the scenery, solitude

The Associated Press

Volunteers, including Oliver Rankin, second from left, the son of Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin, and Laura Grimmer, left, sort items Wednesday, March 26, 2014 that were donated to help families affected by the massive mudslide that struck near Darrington last Saturday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Associated Press + More

"Every day I wake up and think to myself, 'God, it wasn't just a bad dream,'" Meredith said, consoling yet another customer at the Red Top Tavern who broke down in tears. "It can be dangerous out here, the rivers and flooding, the mountains and landslides, but we love it, and I wouldn't leave. ... We all know the risks."

___

Associated Press writers Manuel Valdes and Phuong Le also contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.