Too Close for Comfort

It had been a long day of driving. Joe’s fingers had been clenched around the wheel given the unusually strong winds forecasted for the day. We anticipated arriving at the farm at 4:00 and somehow it was almost 8:30. We were hungry for dinner and eager to check out the farm store, anticipating fresh fruits and ice cream. We pulled off the highway, into the gravel parking lot. I started making bacon for egg tacos and everyone else got to finally stretch their legs. “Mom you’ll never believe this.” It only took 30 seconds. I hopped out of the RV. The sun had just dipped below the mountains to the west. To the East, across the highway and just over the first ridge — a raging forest fire! We sat there, jobs dropped, wondering if that explained why we were the only ones in the RV parking lot. Watching a forest fire brings a weight or an anxiety or a feeling of drama to my chest. What was happening to the animals there? Had campers evacuated? Was anyone scared? Trapped? With each tree that Faust and seemingly exploded into a blaze, my heart sank for the rich, lush forest that had been there just two days ago. The mountains further in the distance had smoldering trees all over it — the devastation complete. After the previous month’s reflections on forest fires, seeing one live stopped us in our tracks. The kids had even listened to a podcast on forest fires earlier in the day. Needless to say, our lack of knowledge about this particular fire sent us 20 miles north to the Provo KOA. The wind picked back up, the rain came, and in the morning we discovered that what was rain to us was snow in the mountains and we were surrounded by mountains dusted with a layer of what I assume was the seasons’s first snowfall.

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