Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rim Fire on My Mind

When I wrote last week, I was anxiously waiting to hear what would happen with younger son Zac.  A wildfire had broken out nearby 5 days previous, and when I wrote, it had gone from 800 acres to 16,000 acres and the lodge where Zac lives/works and surrounding areas had been evacuated.  Over the past week, I have watched online as the fire has grown to over 290 square miles burned.  Evergreen Lodge is well within the burn area: as it is within walking distance to "Mather" shown on the map.

However, the good news is that while much of the Stanislaus National Forest that surrounds Evergreen has burned, firefighters were able to save both Evergreen and Camp Mather.  The photo above and to the right are from Evergreen Lodge's Facebook site.  You can see that the trees on the property are still standing, but outside the property is ash and char.  Very sad.

I have been fortunate so visit Evergreen and the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite 4 times over the period of time my sons have been there and it is so sad to think of areas like this burned.


 This is Cherry Creek, which is in a canyon.  I understand the fire roared up this canyon, so all those trees are likely black.  This was in 2010 and Sam and my sons, Ian and Zac and Ian's now-fiance, Michelle and their friends Ryan and Bethany (who were due to get married at Evergreen less than a week from today) and I had all driven down a fire road, left our cars when we could drive no further and hiked another 2 miles to this secluded spot. 

We passed a couple of these old mine entrances on the way and ended up at this fantastic deep cold pool which we had totally to ourselves.  This is the benefit of having personal tour guides.  This is NOT in Yosemite, this is in the Stanislaus National Forest, to the west of Yosemite National Park.

Look at that water.  It really is that color.  And cold.  It all originates as snow melt run off.  Pure, cold and clear.

So, while the lodge is still standing, we have not heard when Zac will be able to return.  We really don't know if there will be water damage to the buildings, I have not heard.  I do know Zac left most of his belongings behind so he could fit more people in his van.  

There is an area in Yosemite many people do not see.  It is called Hetch Hetchy and is very close to Evergreen.  It is a man made reservoir from which pure mountain melt water is sent to San Francisco.  This is the area of Yosemite that has been most impacted so far by the fire.   It is a gorgeous remote area which we have hiked several times.  This is older son Ian and me at Hetch Hetchy in November 2009.  

So I am keeping an eye via internet on the Rim Fire.  As of yesterday, I believe it was about 23% contained.  Watch this clip for more info if you like:

Things have been quiet at home on the farm.  We are getting ready for our annual Labor Day weekend party, so cleaning and mowing and buying food, etc.  Sam's brother sent me a 1/2  bushel of peaches on Sunday, so Tuesday I canned 7 quarts of peaches.

 I hope they taste as good as they look.

 My new chickens are doing well.  I kept them in the yard until Sunday and then opened the gate for them to roam during the day so they can eat bugs and worms and whatever else they scratch up.  The last 2 nights, only 7 have gone into the coop to roost and the 8th is hanging around outside in the morning.  She is obviously confused about how this is supposed to work.  Roosting outside the coop leaves her vulnerable to becoming dinner to a raccoon, fox or possum, so I hope she gets with the program soon.


I have also finished the body of the sweater I have been knitting.  I am actually almost finished with the first sleeve as well.  Here is the body.  Next week, I should have at least one sleeve to show you.  I don't think I will get any knitting time this weekend as we will have 2 houses full of family.  

It just wouldn't be right to blog without a photo of Rowdy or Grover!


  1. You'll have to give me canning lessons sometime. Not that our garden has produced enough for us to preserve. We eat all the tomatoes as soon as they're ripe. :)

  2. Peaches look good Cathy. You could have had more of them. I finally got the last done today. I had about 3 bushel of them to do, but they will be really good this winter. Made homemade ice cream last night with some of them. It was really good.