Returning to the Scene of the Fire

This morning, I decided to go out for one of my favorite runs up the mountain. This time, it would be different, though. As I mentioned in my last post, there was a fire just last week that burned over 5,500 acres up there. I could see from my house, the line of where the fire stopped, but I wasn’t quire sure where it was in relation to the trails I run on. As I headed straight up the mountain, I could see that it wasn’t as far away as I had originally thought. I could see the red on the mountain and on the trees, where the fire helicopters had dropped the fire retardant. As I got a little higher, I could smell the burnt ashes and I saw the charcoal. As devastating as the fire was, it was quite the sight to behold. I kept running along the ridge of the mountain on my usual trail, and it was amazing how on the left of me, it was all black, while on my right, there was no sign of fire or ashes. Quite the sight to see. The whole time, I kept thinking about how much I wanted to bring the kids up there to see all of it. I hurried down the mountain, and as soon as I got home, at about 7:00, I woke all the kids up, got them dressed and breakfast, and we were out the door by 8:00.

We drove to the base of the mountain, and began our hike there.

As we got closer to the top, with the steeper inline and rockier terrain, the kids started to get tired and complain a little bit. I kept telling them that it would be worth it once they got to the top. (I also packed a treat that I wouldn’t let them have until they got their, either ;). Once we got to the top (which was exactly one mile up from where we began, by the way), it was quite the sight.

I had them each pick a red rock to take home, and a black stick. They wrote their names on the rocks (and a few other rocks that are still up there 😉 ). We talked about how we need to be careful with fire, and what just one little flame can do. It was a great life lesson, that I hope they will remember for a long time…

There are so many fires burning out here, in the West especially. If you have a chance to take your kids out to see the aftermath, it is something that will resonate with them, and hopefully help prevent them from making decisions that may cause something like this again.

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