Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wildfires and Hiking

A few weeks ago - the weekend before the giant fires broke out and ravaged much of the San Diego area - my husband, Brandon, and I went hiking out near Julian. We hiked up a ridge where you could see reminders of the 2003 Cedar fire - burnt stumps, large swaths of black up the hillsides in the distance, the blackend underside of dead limbs contrasting with the bright sun-bleached topsides, all contrasting with the cloudless blue sky. We spoke about how sad it was that much of the landscape was just starting to recover even though four years had elapsed. And then, two days later, we had to evacuate our house, because it was in a new fiery path. Luckily, our house survived with absolutely no damage (the fire didn't even come that close because the wind direction changed) other than being covered in a ridiculous amount of ash.

As I look at the pictures I took on the trail - I finally just got a chance to upload them - I can't help but wonder what the area looks like now. Hopefully it escaped further harm. But more importantly, the pictures of burned treetops and stumps serves as a reminder that we're not in control of the potentially devastating forces of nature.

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