Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Where there's smoke, there's fire

Weather-wise, this Labor Day weekend was just awful.  Way too hot, too dry, too dusty and so very smokey.  I'm officially over with summer.  She can bow out gracefully and just go away.  After the seemingly never ending rains of the Fall of 2016, Winter of 2017 and Spring through July of 2017, we've had so much heat.  Relentless heat and so much smoke from so many forest fires raging all across the west.  This latest one is the closest one yet to us.  And dangerously close to one of our favorite horseback riding areas and camping spots.  This fire is on the Oregon side of the Columbia river near Cascade Locks, a tiny town where fruit orchards abound.  And then just last night, the fire jumped the mighty river and has raced west along the Washington side as well.  The changes in the images on the evening news compared to the 11:00 news were quite scary.  You see, the Gorge is known for strong winds that rush through the area in a Westerly direction, which is fanning the fires and causing them to rage uncontrollably.  So much beautiful forested lands being ravaged by fire.  So sad.  And it was caused by careless teenagers shooting off illegal fireworks.  Definitely old enough to know better.

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This is one of 2 bridges in the area where we frequently cross with our horse trailer when headed to Mt. Adams.

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This is the road on the Washington side.  All the smoke from this fire is heading directly West into our little valley about 2 hours from here.  Sitting out on the deck after dark last night it felt like it bugs, but it was ash falling.  This morning my car was covered in ash from the fire.  The last many weeks we've also been getting smoke from fires burning in Canada, and a HUGE fire burning on the Southern Oregon Coast.  That one probably won't be contained or controlled until October into November when the rains return.  The thought of all that pristine forest wilderness going up in flames just makes me sick.  Yes, the forests will return. But not for many, many long years to come.

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The photographer is standing on the Oregon side of the Columbia River shooting the fire in Washington.

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Beautiful picture, but oh so deadly and wicked...

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This is another view of the Bridge of the gods shot from a wider angle.

I simply cannot imagine how the firefighters manage to work those long hours that they do, in those heavy and hot turnouts they have to wear, in this oppressive heat.  God help them.

We pretty much laid low over the holiday weekend, opting to stay home and keep watch on our horses, who are as sick and tired of the heat and smoke as we are.  Our house stays pretty cool, but there's nowhere to escape the heat for the horses.  So, we hosed them all down several times.  They love that.  Then they turn all that pristine cleanliness into dirt baths.  It must feel good because they all do it.  At least Harley waits until he dries first.  My hubby also has his misters going each and every afternoon for them.  That helps.

We went to lunch with Steve and Chris to celebrate the husband's birthday too.  Afterwards we enjoyed cake and ice cream.  Even old farts gotta have cake!  Yep, he's 68 this year.  My oh my, where have the years gone?  When we were pleasantly stuffed with sugar and carbs, we spent some much-needed time in the pool.  I felt like a floating walrus...but at least a cool one.  :)

Hope all the natural disasters make a hasty retreat soon.  There's so many people across our country in need of your prayers and support.  The only good I see coming out of this, is that our petty differences regarding politics have taken a back burner to what really matters in life.  It's good to see people coming together to help one another.

That's my country!  Those are my Americans...

Until next time, hope you all stay safe.
Lorie @ Cingspots