It’s funny how little time it takes to fall in love with a place. We have only had our cabin since September, but every time we drive up Highway 63 I marvel at the landscape. It’s fierce and beautiful and intimidating and inviting and I want to know every inch of it.
But first there was the knee surgery, then there was winter, and now there is fire. Exploration has been put on hold. We are not in immediate danger, but we have taken two car loads of sentimental items out of the cabin and we’re glued to the Forest Service’s live stream every evening.
We are lucky. Our cabin is still safe, after almost 6 weeks of fire. We have another home to go to. We have insurance. And until our part of the canyon is put on “Ready” status, we will continue to enjoy the forest. We will evacuate when told.
But I am sad to think of all the displaced people and animals, the homes that have been lost, the forests that are charred, the waters that will be black with ash. It will take decades to recover. As a forager that brings me to tears, but I suspect many non-foragers feel the same way. This land is so extraordinary; it’s impossible to spend time here and not fall in love.
Sitting on the porch, listening to the river and the hummingbirds and the wind in the aspens, it’s easy to forget the wildfire burning less than 10 miles away. Driving in and out of the canyon, faced with plumes of smoke and giant pyrocumulus clouds…there’s no denying the disaster.