A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Welcome to Hell

I wasn't planning to put any of the following on the blog but as I have thought about it more these past few days I decided to go ahead.  After all this blog is about my life (and Beans) and to ignore the events that have happened as if they didn't occur just did not seem the right thing to do.

While in Utah I received notice that the upcoming renewal of my drivers license this time required me to make an appearance for eye exam, thumb print and photo.  We were on our way back to the house in Sonoma County and all hell broke loose as we neared California.  In short time where I lived was under a mandatory evacuation order.  I would not be allowed to my house, the highway that runs by my neighborhood was closed down and the area for miles around was in utter chaos and devastation. There would be not a thing I could do if I continued on except be in the way.

A day later from what I could gather from news sources and a few friends and neighbors who had to evacuate, our little active adult community survived the initial conflagration.  Wineries around where we live are gone.  My Annadel Park where I always went to hike and ride my bike is in flames.  So many of the places in and around Santa Rosa are no more.  I cannot imagine what it is like there now.  No power, gas services shut off, getting around the town may be next to impossible.  As of this writing as far as I know my neighbors have still not been able to return to their homes and it is now five days from when the fires began last Sunday evening.

I've read in news sources that the smoke in the North and South Bay area has created the worst air quality known of modern time and no one would want to be in any of that.  Currently we are on the eastern side of the Sierra mountain range at Lone Pine which sits at the base of Mt. Whitney.  Sequoia  National Park is to the west of us, Death Valley to the east.  You'd think we were in a good place but even here the skies are filled with smoke and I can barely make out the mountain range on the eastern side of Owens valley.  This smoke must be blowing in from the fires in Southern California.

There is still a lot of uncertainty as flare-ups continue, strong winds fanning the flames are predicted once again and the evacuation order remains in effect.  We will stay where we are until the all clear is given then continue on with our adventures...hopefully.  And tomorrow is Friday the 13th.  Great!


  1. What a terrible situation. I have seen the inferno on television here and had to think of you as I know you live in California. Hope for the best for your house and the surroundings.

  2. It is heartbreaking to see so many people displaced and so much destruction. Glad you are ok, John. I don’t remember ever seeing a fire like this. It is just unimaginable.

    Keep us updated.

  3. Bad,bad, bad situation. Hope it will be raining soon and that everybody get some time to breath again.

  4. i'm glad you posted about it. i have been thinking of you every time i hear santa rosa on the news. it is incredibly sad and tragic for too many.

  5. Fire is so frightening. I have seen the aftermath of a destructive fire when I was in Australia.... whole communities destroyed. Last year the whole city of Fort McMurray in Alberta was evacuated due to a gigantic fire, and this year there are still evacuations due to raging fires in many places in British Columbia. I hope you will be able to go home soon. But home will never be quite the same with so much lost.
    I'm surprised that a thumb print is required for driving licence renewal.

  6. Stay safe. I was thinking of you when you hadn't posted for a couple of days!

  7. The devastation is almost unimaginable. And your license? Can't you go to any California DMV?

  8. So sorry you're caught up in that. Good luck.

  9. Such an awful thing, these fires. I hope for the best for you.


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