The motorhome was washed, polished and waxed. Windows were sparkling and laundry was almost completed. All systems were go.
I have previously mentioned that our daughter, Jojo has a cabin at Idyllwild, California, within the San Jacinto Mountains. As you probably already know, there is a huge fire in the San Jacinto Mountains.
John and I spotted that fire Monday afternoon around four o'clock as we drove to Temecula on an errand. At that time, the fire was just two hours old and looked huge for I-215.
We began to watch the news reports as soon as we were back home and learned that the fire was totally out of control and more fire personnel were arriving.
Jojo became concerned that the fire was heading toward their mountain cabin in the Pine Cove area of Idyllwild. Passing time proved Jojo's concerns to be valid and in a matter of thirty minutes, we packed her SUV with hoses, rakes, shovels, and garden tools.
We each grabbed a change of clothing. Cathie packed a cooler and we were off.
John could not go into what we anticipated to be a smoke filled areas. He "held down the fort" at home. We left him behind with his parting words of wisdom to us....."don't do anything stupid, it is a cabin and can be replaced."
The anxiety permeated the car as we drove toward the smoking mountains. Road closures had to be assessed and detours taken. But we were equipped with proof of ownership of the cabin and were permitted through the roadblock on California 243.
The mandatory evacuation had been issued for Idyllwild and Fern Valley. Evacuation sites were set up for large and small animals as well as the citizens of the two communities.
As we drove up the mountain, evacuating residents would be pulled off the road to watch the progress of the glowing fire they left behind.
Their cars and trailers were loaded to the roof with precious items from their homes. Plans for the week and vacations were interrupted.... life was interrupted.
People were leaving the mountain to stay in hotels, with friends or family. Some were in route to high school gymnasiums.
The fire had grown to over 2,200 firefighters, 100 fire engines, 15 helicopters and 10 aircraft including the huge DC 10s. Water tankers were laboring up the mountain to deliver water to firefighters.
I felt guilty when the driver of this tanker pulled into a turn-off lane to let us pass. We all waved and gave him a thumbs up as our thank you.
The higher we went into the mountain, the smokier it became. Thank goodness we left John home!
I took time to snap one photo of our working conditions once we arrived at the cabin.
Each of us wore a wet bandanna around our nose and mouth to keep from choking on the smoke.
We finally fell into bed at 2:30 a.m. Only to wake up to more toil, smoke and bad news that the fire was spreading rapidly. We prayed for the firefighters' safety as well as our own. We just did not want it to crest the south ridge. If it did.....
Will continue the next day in another post.
Be safe out there and God bless