Friday, August 25, 2017

Trapped by fire, but open to possibilities

Of course, not really trapped, not like the people across the road who had to evacuate. But trapped because almost all the trails are closed and the air quality is listed as "hazardous." As such, the choices are to drive 50 miles over the pass for cleaner air or to venture out on the one trail system near the house which is still open, taking chances on future lung problems. The gym is packed, people I haven't seen all summer in there taking up room on the machines.

This summer, largely, needs a do-over, but you do what you can. The dogs and I haunt the only trail system that remains open near town. I get to know this trail really well. Right now, cone collectors are out there, gathering pine cones into large bundles (for wreaths?). People have been camping out there all summer in open defiance of the 14 day camping rule. I get to know their camps and which ones to avoid. I wonder what they do all day out there in the piney woods. There's no water, and it is dusty and hot. My feet acquire a patina of brown that requires scrubbing to remove. But I kind of love these trails. I can run right to them on another trail connector. They're easy and flat. No staring at my shoes to prevent face plants. I will miss them when I leave in another month.

And where am I going? I don't know. I used to love the uncertainty of an unplanned life, but now, not so much.

Without going into it too much and risking ire over politics, the job situation as dictated by the current administration means we have to leave our lovely mountain town for a few years. I can't even think about it or it will break my heart. So instead I think about new trails to explore. You are never really trapped, it seems.

With that in mind I find a lake that looks to be out of the fire closure. It's only a five mile hike, putting it into day hike territory, but I really want to camp. What to do after only a five mile day? I have fallen into the PCT trap of walking all day. Will I get too restless?

But still. Being in a rut makes for a boring person. I'll give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes.













10 comments:

  1. So sorry to see these bushfires. In contrast to Oz, they burn for so long. Best wishes for a smooth journey, as you look for new trails and work.

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    1. The trees here do not burn as quickly. I've been in meleleuca (sp) and that's intense!

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  2. Hi there - came over from Linda's Lens - what a great blog you have.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thank you! Not as pretty as her pics I'm afraid!

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  3. What a crummy summer to be in Central Oregon....fire season isn't usually this bad. Of course I don't think anything of driving 50 minutes to hike. It's usually at least an hour or two to get to my favorite trails. Hope you get relocated somewhere with lots of great outdoor recreation opportunities - but not lots of people!

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    1. Argh, I hiked up the Pyramid and all I saw was smoke. It's really bad today. Good to know it's not always this bad, in case we wind up here after all.

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  4. Entertaining possibilities instead of worse case is a good way to think, but....it must be difficult, both with fire and with uncertainty. Hard to accept that loyalty to an employer for many years doesn't seem to count anymore. Thinking of you and J.

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    1. Thanks...just want to be out of limbo (and out of this smoke. I've never experienced anything like it)

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  5. It was hard to read this. I hate that there is so much uncertainty for you right now. I do know though that you will make the best out of wherever your feet land. Glad you have been able to get out and explore the trails around you. Hoping the fires are controlled soon and that the air clears for you. Hang in there.

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    1. It's gotten worse! I'm plotting my escape.

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