There’s nothing like driving for contemplation. I’m mostly taking in images and having thoughts, not conclusions.
We knew there was a lot of fire activity in the area we drove through yesterday for several reasons. First, in Idaho the mountains on the horizon were hazed out. It looked like smoke. We weren’t close enough that it smelled like smoke.
Then there were signs on the road. These are the Chena Hot Shots, come all the way from Alaska. We saw two of their rigs about a half-mile apart.
Then there were the sunsets, exquisitely colorful in the way that fires make happen. More photos of that later.
And when I checked the National Interagency Fire Center’s web site after we stopped for the day, the evidence of our eyes was confirmed:
- August 11, 2008
fire activity increased in Oregon and Idaho over the weekend.
Currently, Oregon has four large fires and Idaho has three.
When we stopped for gas, we smelled fire again and I worried that it was our car. It wasn’t:
A small wildfire had started on the dry hillside above where we’d stopped in Pendleton, Oregon. It took the crews a few minutes to figure out how to access the fire and what equipment to send. We just stayed out of their way.
We logged a lot of miles yesterday, thinking about human interactions with landscapes.
Then there was this. It doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me–while I like my bread high-fiber. whole-wheat, and tasty, I think this sounds over the top:
And as I mentioned, one of the characteristics of big fires is beautiful sunsets, especially when seen while descending the west sides of mountains, The gorgeousness was 360 degrees. Here’s looking south:
I have a wonderful photo from a short while later, looking west,
but it won’t load and we need to check out of the motel. I may be able to fill it in later. [Got it! 8-12-08]
And now, the next morning, departing The Dalles, Oregon. Where we’ll be for the next five days may not have internet access . . . at least not without driving to town. If town is bikable, it’s more likely that I’ll have more photos to post of the next parts of our trip.