Meditation in Moment … Earth Day

California Road trip, Left Coast Travel, Meditation in Moments, Musings, Nature, North America, Photography

Phoenix Rising from the Ashes, Sonoma County Fair 2018

Sunday night, October 8, 2017, I went to bed excited because the next morning I was going to leave for my annual road trip to California. I had packed my car and was ready. This trip is something I look forward to all year long. It’s like going home for me.
Monday morning, while I was filling up my to-go coffee cup, my phone rang. It was my friend in Santa Rosa, who informed me of a horrific wildfire that had broken out over night. The fire was raging across the greater area and parts of the city of Santa Rosa. She was in her car, leaving the immediate area for the time being. Other friends had no choice but to evacuate.

I was stunned! I couldn’t believe it!
I sat down, drank my coffee, then unpacked my car,
and crossed my fingers that everyone was going to be okay.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park, Santa Rosa 2018

Extremely dry conditions and strong winds, combined with some failed electrical equipment had started a massive wildfire Sunday evening near the town of Calistoga in neighboring Napa County. The fire had grown rapidly out of control and was racing down hillsides towards Santa Rosa, burning down everything in its path. Thousands and thousands of residents had to evacuate. This fire then jumped across the main artery of the city, Highway 101 and burned down an entire neighborhood.
By the time the Tubbs Fire was under control,

5643 structures were destroyed,
nearly 37,000 acres had burned,
many people lost everything,
and some even lost their lives.

Last summer (July 2018) on my way to Santa Rosa, I drove through the Mount Shasta-Trinity area a day or two after another massive wildfire exploded, this time near the city of Redding. The fire had accidentally been started when a vehicle had gotten a flat tire. The vehicle’s wheel then scraped along the pavement and created sparks; sparks which set the parched, golden brown hills northeast of Redding on fire. The devastating Carr Fire was deemed a

“pyro-genetic fire tornado”
nearly 1000 homes were destroyed,
 about 38,000 people were evacuated,
and 8 people lost their lives.

These fires are wicked! There were way too many of them last year here in the West!

The glow of a nearby wildfire reflected in Ashland Creek, Oregon 2018

In July 2018, my favorite rest area on the Klamath River near the Oregon border was closed due to recent wild fires.

In 2018, from Southern Oregon, past Redding and all the way to Santa Rosa the air was thick with smoke and haze.
Normally you can see Mount Shasta in the background.

Mount Shasta to the east near Yreka during a prior year.

Crossing the bridge across Lake Shasta in the smoke in 2018

The Mount Shasta area hills shrouded in smoke in 2018.

Lake Shasta, 2018

Crape Myrtles love the Central Valley heat.

Fire fighting airplanes headed toward the Carr Fire in Anderson, near Redding.

One of my favorite sights along I-5 in Northern California are these
tractor trailers carrying tomatoes to the canneries even during the fires.

The air was awful everywhere!

This area just south of Ashland burned not too long before the Carr Fire started.

Interstate 5 had to be closed down for a while.

Wildfire destruction along Interstate 5 near the California-Oregon border, August 2018

California is such a diverse state! From the people to the agriculture to the …

Rice fields in the northern Central Valley on a sunny day.

This is what the hills and sky normally look like in this area.

I do believe that climate change is real. I don’t need anyone trying to change my mind. These kinds of weather extremes, fierce wildfires, devastating flooding, evermore destructive hurricanes and tornadoes, warm temperatures in Alaska melting away the ice and destroying towns. I’m sure that no matter where you live, you’ve noticed changes in your local weather patterns as well.

It’s a “We’re all in it together” issue!
No matter where you live!

Oleander outside the Sandman Hotel, Santa Rosa 2018

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

12 thoughts on “Meditation in Moment … Earth Day”

    • Interesting article, LuAnne! I will come back and read it again when I have a few quiet moments later today. I’ve noticed many changes in our garden with the visiting wildlife. We get very few tree frogs now compared to when we moved here. And our salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River are in trouble too! Hopefully we can get people elected who actually care!


  1. christine says:

    I had not heard the story behind the Carr fire. I guess there will always be situations that have the potential to start fires, so it’s important ant to reduce the hazards when we can. They finally found the cause of the big fire in Lake country several years ago, bad electric wiring on a hot tub. I also hope we do not have such a bad wildfire year in the west. Thank you for having the strange to revisit these devastating events.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Christine, I thought this might be a fitting post on Earth Day. Flowers would be nicer, but variations of these kinds of events are going to happen more and more I’m afraid. When a catastrophe like this hits a place one is very familiar with, it adds a whole other dimension to it. The Carr Fire was really sad for me too because I had taken the guys fishing around Whiskeytown Lake and the Shasta area when they were kids. Lots of that area burned down in the fire.


  2. Thanks for all the information on the wildfires Sabine – they made the top news story on my CBS radio station for days, if not weeks. The dark and hazy sky is so telling of what everyone endured – not just people though, animals, the land as well. It is very sad and we have a great meteorologist here and he has been talking about climate change for years. I follow Paul Gross on Twitter and he has traveled all around the world to sit on forums and give talks on this subject, and still, knowing his credentials, people comment that he does not know what he is talking about. He just told us the incident level of tornadoes and hurricanes have lessened and that’s a good thing, however, they are more powerful when they do occur. He also said incidents of tornadoes may be fewer, but on single days there are more tornadoes in a single day and deadlier than ever before. I wish I had lived at an earlier time. I worry about the tornadoes especially, as we had three relatively close by last year. I also worry about the very cold Winters … cold is fine, but the Polar Vortex incidents are scary. I hope not to lose power then as I have no relatives to stay with and I’d worry about the pipes freezing. Sometimes I think about getting a generator, the more I hear about these brutally cold temps being on the horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scary times all around, Linda! I believe the best thing we can do is connect with positive kindred spirits both here in the blogosphere and in our real lives at home. Weather patterns will continue doing their thing and we can only do so much to be prepared for whatever might hit us. In the meantime we should also remember all the good in the world! Not always easy, but worth the effort. 🙋

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is hard to keep a positive attitude sometimes Sabine and I know I am often left shaking my head over the entire state of the world, environmentally and world/national/local issues. There is good out there – I am happy to have found like people here in the blogosphere – it helps to keep me balanced.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You know why I’m so far behind here but it is a good time to remind us of the devastation of fires and to be mindful. There is a lot of beauty out there and I’d hate to lose more of it. How you got a shot of the tomato truck while driving is amazing. Everytime I drove through the Gilroy area, it smelled like Campbell’s tomato soup with all the garlic too. Have a wonderful weekend, Sabine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marlene, I was lucky to have a passenger on the trip home to take the pictures from a moving car. I NEVER use my cellphone when I’m driving! I have wanted a shot of the tomato truck for years, and was very happy that the Zendog snapped away for me. It’s heartbreaking when places get wiped out by events like these fires, but hopefully we can learn from this and figure out ways to avoid the worst. And garlicky tomato soup!! I might have to make a pot, perhaps with a scoop of California rice added! 😉 Have a good week too, Marlene! I’ll send you an email later.

      Liked by 1 person

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