Right... and I better be able to tread water!
Poor buggers up above Fort Collins are having a truly lousy summer.
I rode a circle up through the heart of the country ravaged by the High Park Fire yesterday. Rolled up Poudre Canyon past Poudre Park, turned up Stove Prairie Road and came down through Rist Canyon.
Gotta tell you, it was kinda like riding through an ash tray. The stink of burnt timber and houses is heavy on the air up there.
In spite of the 259 houses they lost, It's pretty incredible to see the homes that the fire fighters DID save. You can see house after cabin where the fire raged right up to the front door... and stopped. It's pretty obvious that Somebody stood in the way and said; "Nope! You can't have this one!"
Pretty near every mail box has a big hand painted sign leaned against it; Fire Fighters ROCK! or We Love Fire Fighters or Fire Fighters are Heroes!
Now, to add insult to injury, the drought that helped make the fire even more intense, than all of us who were paying attention knew it would be, is now apparently done. A couple of days ago a big storm parked on top of the burn area and DUMPED on the now denuded landscape. The result being rivers of mucky ash flowing down the mountainsides and covering the houses and landscape that survived the fires.
Been storming every afternoon since.
I passed one group of a couple dozen folks working around a sand pile, filling sand bags. They're building diversion dikes to try and keep the muck flowing off the burnt mountainsides out of their homes...
When you look at the river as you roll by it looks black. The banks that were/are normally a shade of light brown or even a light grey... are black... covered with ash. It looks like an oil spill.
The short term is ugly... The only saving grace is that THIS trauma is what the land has to go through to fight its way back to health. Hopefully the residents and the forest service will have learned their lesson and won't eliminate fire and logging from proper management of the regrowth. Time will tell.
Last night it rained all night. The Eagle was parked in a lake that is just now receding... I wondered about those mountain slopes laying there in my nice dry bed.
But... it's nice to get up on a cold rainy morning... and take a nice hot shower...
Yeah... 'bout that... KERFUUUTTTTTT!!!! POW!
Not what you want to hear when you fire up the Brand New Water heater! Yup... less than ten days old and the gol durn thing won't stay lit... Went out with a THUMP a time or two... So... Tomorrow morning it's get on the phone and find out if the warranty is good for anything... arrrrrrrrrrrghh!
On a more cheerful note... a set of new saddlebags for the Raider should be arriving this week... all the way from Hong Kong! :)
With my luck I'll open the package and find a gross of Ladies Dainties mis-shipped to a guy waiting on motorcycle parts! :-/
and then I crawl ever closer to the release date for my third book; Heart of a Man... another week or two of editing and formatting chores... I do believe I'll hit my goal of publishing it this month! HooYa!
... and it's time for me to get out into the bush again too... 'fore I succeed in stirrin' up excitement I'm better without! :)
Duckin' and Runnin'