That’s what was going through my mind when at the very tail end of a 22 hour, cross-country sprint, I round a corner in the highway expecting to see the usually stunning vista that is my home state and what do my eyes NOT see? The freakin’ entire length of the Rocky Mountains which have always, ALWAYS been a visual representation of all that was good about living here. Those mountains were constant, ever vigil sign posts that served to orient me no matter where I was in the freakin’ world. They were the ONLY things in my childhood that made sense.
But this time, my home state and its surrounding brothers are the equivalent of a lighter fluid soaked charcoal briquette at the mercy of a pyro-maniacal child with an ever lit blow torch. In other words, it’s hotter than Hades and this being a high plains dessert, it is also tinder box dry; mother nature sent a few stray lightning bolts and the states went up in flames. There is a haze of smoke so thick, it has completely blocked the view of the ENTIRE mountain range from the city. A city that sits nestled at the very base of said mountain range. Those beautiful, for spacious skies? That purple mountains majesty?
Obliterated from view, thus throwing my compass completely out of whack.
I’d be willing to bet this has happened in this particular part of the world on more than one occasion over the past million or so years. But since we humans like to believe, it’s the worst thing ever (in our brief, recorded history), the news reports might as well be heralding the apocalypse.
I was fortunate to have
another driver in the car so I didn’t have to do it myself. I pushed because I was anxious to share all that the view represented in my life – a sense of pride in a place that while it never felt like “home”, was still some place I was proud to say I was from, so it’s into the mountains we go. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Mom Nature, the possibility of hospitalization from smoke inhalation, or anything short of the road being closed due to the actual fire being right there, stop me from showing off my mountains – there’s beauty in them thar hills and I mean to get me some.
Did I mention all of this has given me the setting / feel / background for a sequel to my last novel? Yeah I know, no surprise there.
And as it is with all disasters, donations of time, money, and needed goods are greatly appreciated. Check with your local Red Cross to find out how you can help. Thank you.