Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oak Knoll Fire

On Tuesday when I left work, I noticed a large black cloud.  I knew immediately there was a fire in Ashland.  I called Tony to take a look from our deck.  We are so high up on our hill, we can see the entire town.  Turns out the fire was on the south side of town.  About four miles from our house.

My usual route was blocked by traffic and emergency vehicles.  But the time I got home, we could see helicopters had joined in the fight.  This went on for hours.  =(

This is a view of the fire from our deck.

We later learned the fire had started on the east side of the highway and then the strong winds carried it across the road.  Four streets had to be evacuated.  In the end, 11 homes were destroyed.  The police have arrested a homeless man.  He had started a fire for himself that got out of control. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Things I Miss About MO, Part 1: Thunderstorms

Oh how I miss thunderstorms!  I miss watching the storm rolling in from miles away.  I miss the sight of the lightening bolts crashing down.  I miss the big boom of the thunder..  Especially when the thunder is close enough to shake the house.  I miss the power.  The massive, raw power of the storm. 

And the smell.  I miss the smell of the rain.  It's the most wonderful smell.

We finally had a thunderstorm here this week.  It only lasted maybe an hour but it was wonderful!  We have a little lightening, a few thunderclaps.  It wasn't the powerful storms we are use to in the Midwest but it was refreshing and reminded me of home.

And then we were rewarded with the sun coming back out right before sunset.  The colors were gorgeous bouncing off the mountains.  And then!...  A rainbow appeared!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pilot Rock

Last weekend, Barbarian/Hubby and I climbed Pilot Rock with our friend, Camper. The summit of Pilot Rock is over 5900 feet. The climb covers an elevation change of 2000+ feet. Pilot Rock is actually the cooled magma of an ancient volcano's central vent. Over time the exterior of the volcano has eroded away. I was pretty excited to climb until I found out about the extreme free solo rock climb required at the end of the trail to summit the rock.

Upon further research (I googled), I discovered that people have died trying to make the final climb. OMG! Are you kidding me? I am a pretty careless gal that usually has a few unexplained bruises at any given time. But I couldn't back out. The boys would never let me live it down!

We set out at 7:00 AM.  We wanted to beat the heat and other hikers.  We could see Pilot Rock from several miles out.  And as we got closer, it got bigger.  Oh my.  It was going to be a long morning.

The first part of the trail was a pretty easy, dirt trail.  Then it started going uphill fast at a steep angle.  The boys were leaving me behind but I was okay with that.  They like to race to the top.  I prefer to take my time, enjoying the trail and my surroundings.  And then was my least favorite part.  Steep, dirt and large loose gravel.  It sucked!  Most of this part required a lot of using your hands to climb.  Lots of bear walking.  Not so fun.

So I made it to the top of that section to see this...
The last section of the trail.  The rock.  Camper was already half way up.  Can you see him in the white t-shirt in the middle of this pic? 

And then there was this part.  This is where the free solo rock climbing started.  Camper got up and then it was Barbarian's turn...

It was at this point that he was beginning to think he might not make it up.

But he did!  And then it was my turn.  Please, please, please let me make it up there! 

Not only did I make it up there, I fly up the side of that rock!  Who knew my long legs and arms combined with my flexibility would make climbing so easy.  I showed those boys a thing or two! 

I found this cool marker on top of the rock.  I wonder when it was put there?

Did I mention it was our six month anniversary?  And that is how we spent it.  On top of a rock, looking out to see California on one side and Oregon on the other.  Perfect!