Sunday, August 25, 2013

Big Cats, Big Fires

Forget chronology, there are urgent things going on right now, so we'll skip over other events and jump right to the big stuff. Big cats and big fires!

Looking across the mountain at the 10,000 acre Coral Fire
The fire, locally called the Coral Fire, is 9 miles from us and zero percent contained. Started by lightning just a few days ago, over 10,000 acres are ablaze and there are almost a thousand firefighters here who traveled from all over to fight it. The firefighter who brought us our daily report tonight was from Michigan, for example. These selfless men and women are camped out in tents at varying local staging areas and some stayed here for a time.  Choppers, fire engines and other equipment have also come pouring in to our rescue.
One of the staging areas for imported firefighters from all over
Another fire above Orleans continues to burn out of control as well, and the smoke from these and smaller area fires hangs on the mountains and gathers in the valleys looking like London fog but burning eyes and noses, scorching throats and turning tongues to leather.
The smoke is everywhere!
Lest talk around Boise Creek campfires be too focused on the fires, one of our campers spotted a cougar and caught a fairly good iPhone photo of it. The big cat prowled through two campsites during the previous night, or so the occupants thought. Both heard a larger animal walking fairly close to their tents. 
Cougar! Taken from a campsite without telephoto lens.
The mountain lion's visit was not a total surprise to us. I have been seeing cougar scat for about two weeks. This is a good year for them, and their numbers are up, hence these very territorial critters are staking out new claims, marking out new Home turfs for themselves. In studying them, we find they normally tour all the nooks and crannies of their stomping grounds about once a week, so we'll be on the lookout for this one again.... and I'll try to get more pictures.
Giving Heather a goodbye hug
Two members of our Forest Service Recreation team form Orleans have moved up the ladder, as I mentioned in a previous post, and now we have also said goodbye to Heather. We're sure gonna miss her! Stephanie has arrived with her willing spirit and quickly fit right into the team of Recreation Technicians we work with.
Stephanie and Bingo... Instant rapport!
In other excitement, we locked ourselves out of the motorhome and learned a valuable lesson about our door/lock setup. 

There are two red plastic toggles on the inside of our door. One locks the dead bolt, the other locks the door latch. It seems I inadvertently flipped the latch toggle when I went out the door, and the keys, of course, were in the house!

Our windows were open, thank heavens, so Richard saved the day with this heroic yet precarious break-in. Safety First is definitely not his motto, but I wasn't complaining.

And I will close with one final misadventure, which was also a lot of fun... We got lost.

It all started when we went to help a Forest Service worker, Diane, who was working with a group of teens building a fence for a remote dispersed camping area. She needed us to take some timber up to the the site.
Diane, Richard and kids loading logs for Aimon Ranch camping area fence. 
It was a beautiful drive and we had followed Diane up there before, so we told her we'd meet her up there and just drove on up while she ran an errand.

Somehow, we missed a turn and wandered all over that mountain! Radio reception was spotty and cell phones worse, but we got through at last, then also met a local who gave more directions, and finally, we arrived at Aimon Ranch, our destination... but, since we were over an hour late, Diane and her charges had left already. There was a happy ending, they came back, we delivered the logs and headed down the mountain, stopping at this creekside oasis on the way. Such a beautiful way to live.

Of course, because of our radio transmissions, everyone in the Six Rivers Forest heard about our wanderings, so we get to take a bit of good natured ribbing... all part of the fun.
 Bye Bye until next time....


  1. It is most definitely the best way to live! Sometimes misadventures can be a neat way to discover new territory.

  2. Last time I got lost with you, you were all cool and suave about it, calling it an adventure. We were totally going the wrong way, and I was driving while chain-sawing my nails with my teeth. ha ha Looking back, you were right, but, let's not do that again. Thank God for GPS.

    1. I usually don't fret being lost... I'm good at it, hahaha

  3. Always enjoy reading about yours and Richards adventures...God has blessed you both with an adventurous spirit! Love you!

    1. Every life is an adventure and everyone has a special story. We have always been excited by that and eager to see what G-d will do in our lives, how He will use us and grow us.