Tuesday, April 23, 2013

fire in the hole

Bend may have quilts and guns.  But there is at least one major downside to living here.


Living amongst the Ponderosa pines is usually pleasant.  Even with the snow.

What is not pleasant are the occasional forest fires.  "Occasional" downplays their frequency. 

When Darrel and I drove up through central Oregon from Nevada, he pointed out several of the burns that scarred the hills.  Some recent.  Some distant.  But all dangerous.

And that danger has increased as houses have blossomed in potential danger zones.

My brother, his wife, my mother, and I had just finished lunch and were heading to the Redmond airport when we saw smoke on the horizon.  In what seemed to be the proximity of Darrel and Christie's place.

So, we sped south, instead of north, to determine if the homestead was in any danger.  It wasn't.  At least, not then.  But forest fires are unpredictable.  A slight change in the wind can turn the most benign fire into a danger to people and property.

My sister-in-law made some calls and discovered it was a controlled burn by the Forest Service.  But it was large enough and close enough to their place that she decided to stay there while Darrel and Mom dropped me off at the Redmond airport.

And thus ends this segment of my journey.  The first time in twelve years that the Shiftless Escape is not in my clutches.

The past four or five months have been liberating.  I can now open a new chapter in my life below the border.

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