Monday, July 01, 2013

Wild Fires

Yesterday I drove 60 miles out into the west desert in order to get within 8 miles of a mountain that is on fire.

This morning I woke up to find out that 19 firefighters were killed fighting a wildfire in Arizona.

Wildfires are a part of life out here in the arid west, we even have a fifth season, known as “Wildfire Season”.  It’s so routine that I, for one, take for granted the hard work and danger these firefighters put themselves into getting them under control.  So, before I go babbling on about my excursion along the old Pony Express trail, I just want to thank them all for the work they do, and give my condolences to the family, friends and neighbors of those 19 firefighters.

There are a lot of people complaining that they are grinding up the pavement along the Pony Express trail and replacing it with a gravel road.  After driving along it yesterday, I’m glad they are. 

Along the gravel road, the new one and the part that has been gravel for years, I was able to go about 50mph, without beating up my Jeep.  On the paved road I had to slow down to about 30mph in order to swerve to the left and to the right to miss all the potholes.

I went up over Lookout Point and down into the valley west of the Tooele valley, around the mountain and got to a point within 8 miles of the fire.  I took out my telephoto lens and got these pictures.

The plane, heading back to get more of whatever it was dumping on the fire.

A ranger, presumably headed out to the fire, that stopped to make sure that I wasn’t broken down out there in the middle of nowhere.

I decided to take the slower, more rustic route from where I was back to the Pony Express Trail.

This sign made me think of Stephen King, and although I looked for it, I couldn’t find the pet cemetery.

50 miles from a city of any size, 7 miles west of Vernon, Utah, I found what looked like the beginnings of a gated community.  Yeah, definitely a need for high security way out here.

And this house along Highway 36 doesn’t have quite the same security measures, but I bet you could get it pretty cheap.

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