Jimmy went home today leaving me, Mom and aunts to hang out together. He left us the truck so we could go wander around. We opted to go see the lava tubes and visit a nearby RV resort. Roxie had to be tied in the back of the truck. This was her first time ever not riding INSIDE the truck and I was a bit concerned at how she would do. She wasn’t happy and half way through the trip, she chewed through the rope that was keeping her back there and climbed in the window of the cab into the backseat. This is unfortunate for my aunts who aren’t really dog lovers. We found out while getting directions that the dogs can’t go through the lava tubes and that we needed flashlights, so we opted to find the other RV park and then go back to camp. While driving, noticed a few spots on the mountain with smoke and saw the helicopter dumping water on them. They were small areas, so we weren’t all that concerned. Once back at camp, we hung out and snacked then I went in for a nice long nap. Man, it felt good. When I woke up, I was energized and ready to go. I put on my shoes, grabbed Roxie and anyone who would go with me and headed for the forest to find the Pacific Trail. I have no idea if I found it, but I was able to find a nice dirt road to follow into the wilderness to let Roxie off leash and let her run. She had a great time and when we returned, she was happy to get into the freezing cold creek to get a drink can cool off. After that, was dinner and more relaxing around camp.
My Aunts leave tomorrow but then my stepsister Jamie is coming up for the day. It will be nice to see her and the girls.
Monday started out to be a nice day, with the exception of my mom banging on my door at 8:00 telling me that they wanted to eat and I needed to get up. Grrr… I hate mornings to begin with let alone be woken up with demands. Anyway, breakfast was great. I had been trying to gain internet access since he storm hit on Saturday night and it was spotty but by Monday, it was non existent. I found out that the fires had knocked out phone service to the area therefore DSL wasn’t working either. They also thought the power might go out too so we should fill our holding tanks because if the power goes out, there is no pump to deliver water to us. Oh, and the roads we drove yesterday to look for the lava tubes and other RV park, were now shut down completely due to the fires. My stepsister Jamie arrived just as we were getting ready to head up the hill to get cell service to check in with work, and let Jimmy know what was going on and that he wouldn’t be able to reach us via internet. When I got back, I stopped at the store to see what was going on. They said that several campgrounds nearby had been evacuated and that they were anticipating our camp being evacuated also.
I went back to camp and told Mom that she needed to go back up the hill and call Jimmy and put him on alert that he may have to come back sooner than Wednesday if he wanted to save his 5th wheel. The plan was that he would finish up some things at the house and head up that evening and then pack up and go home on Tuesday. None of us thought a real evacuation was coming so we went off for a hike along the creek. Mom, Jamie and myself along with all five of my nieces and both dogs headed out. Once it started to get a little rocky, Mom and Jamie headed back with the three younger girls and I forged ahead with the dogs and the older girls. We had a great walk. My oldest niece, Ellyse got a hold of my camera and decided to take photos of the creek as we walked along.
Upon returning to camp, it was time for Jamie to head home with all the nieces. As she was leaving the camp manager drove up and said we were on a voluntary evacuation and that he recommended packing up and heading out. As Jamie was leaving, we told her that as soon as she got cell service, to call Jimmy and to tell him it was time to come NOW. Mom and I started packing up and as we were finishing up, Jimmy pulled up to help with the remaining items and hook up the 5th wheel and we were OUTA there! As we were leaving, we could see some of the smoke clouds in the pine tree clearing above and to the north east of the campground. At one point, the wind had changed directions and smoke filled the campground. As we drove out, we stopped at the vista point where several RV’s and trailers had also stopped to watch the smoke on the mountain. By that time, we were able to see the red glow of flames too. I got out, took a couple photos and we were on our way.
We arrived back at mom’s about an hour later, ordered pizza and relaxed for the evening. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my vacation because I didn’t want to spend it doing nothing at mom’s house. I had planned to head to Whiskeytown first thing in the morning.
Here are a few photos I pulled from the local news (remind me to get a travel cradle for my camera before my next trip):
View from the other side of the mountain from Hwy 89 (near the caves we went searching for)
The lighting that started it all:
Close to what we actually saw from camp: