Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Here is a photo from my friend Lloyd Jones.....former signal consumer of Spaten beer on The Peninsula......and continuing artist and resident of Palo Colorado, Big Sur. This is the fire, probably near Pico Blanco at 3pm this afternoon.

Amanda and I took a walk up our mountain.....and had the very same view, even though we were looking at the fire from the north. The views were nearly identical, including the grassy meadow. The main difference? Lloyd is an artist, and took his fucking camera.......I am a cook, and took my dog.

Volcano? No......Pico Blanco: source of the smoke plume above.

Here is the much maligned Modus thermal imaging satellite view of the fire from ten minutes ago.....Lord knows when the satellite pass was......mid-day.

(Aside: This is a Forest Service satellite. I imagine that the Army has some better ones. If I can look up where the new fire flare-ups are from my desk in Cachagua......why can the Taliban still be frying up lamb kebabs after dark in the Tribal Areas or Tora Bora with out getting Predators up their ass?)

My house is at the extreme upper right of the photo, on the hairpin turn on the little road, close to the San Clemente dam. The red dots are new heat action. The distance is ten miles, give or take. The wiggly little line running from upper left towards the fire is Palo Colorado Canyon road. It trickles out at the Boy Scout Camp.....just a mile from the fire.

Here is the same satellite shot, showing the distance from The Store to the fire front....6.3 miles.

Finally, here is the same shot of the Pico Blanco plume.....taken at sunset from the mountain above our house.

Finally, here is the latest post with the official definition of the fire boundaries. Note that the satellite seems to disagree with the goverment. Great.

Back in the day.....when Cal-Am was seriously talking about building another dam in Cachagua, and sending 200 transfer loads of dirt up and down Cachagua Road for every day for two years.....the old boys were talking about defense in a serious manner. A Bosnia vet pointed out that Cachagua was a lot like Sarajevo: one road in, one road out; easily defensible, lots of sniper positions.

Lately, we have a touch of that Sarajevo skies, helicopters everywhere, lots of troops on the ground. This time it is not Corporate America that is the threat....but Mother Nature herself.

I have to go back to the Tassajara monks' comments: "Well, fire is all about a cleansing and a new beginning. Next spring will be spectacular with all the new growth. We can always rebuild the human parts........"

Yeah, well.

I am trying to not take comfort in the fact that the winds have been mostly from the north......and the fire is taking out Big Sur, and not Cachagua.


The other lesson from GoogleEarth and Modus is this......Palo Colorado is only six miles from my house. We really are one people here in the Santa Lucia's.

Sad that it takes a show of force from Mom to bring that lesson home.


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