This past year had its exciting moments. The most intense excitement happened when we drove up to Sundown Mt to see if it might be a good viewing spot for the eclipse. Instead we watched the Chetco Bar Wildfire blow out from a ridge top nearby. We live at the edge of the Siskiyou National Forest and 2017 was a hot one for this neighborhood. Currently the dirt roads into the burn areas are closed, but we revisited an adjacent area where the Biscuit Fire in 2002 burned nearly a half a million acres. In other words we haven’t seen the fire scar from this past summer, but we could see what it might look like 15 years from now.
Remnants of burnt trees from the 2002 Biscuit Fire.
The loggers call them snags (dead or dying trees). They can be a serious hazard in the woods.
A rather spooky impression created by the mist rising up from the ravines. The sun was going down making the clouds or mist look like smoke in an area that’s seen its share of the real stuff.
The Siskiyou National Forest is a huge area, a landscape shaped by fire, geology and time. Most of it far too rugged for any sort of development other than exploitation by the extractive industries. There’s quite a political struggle as a result. There are those who seem to think that the solution to wildfires is to cut all the timber. leaving a naked and ravaged landscape. On the other side there are those wanting to preserve these rugged landscapes with all their biodiversity.
You can likely guess which side I’m on with my love of wild, untamed scenes such as those above. Surely we could all stand to get out of the frantic cities once in awhile for some peace and fresh air and serenity.
Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy 2018!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
― Edward Abbey