Although windy, it is a lovely day to be outside, so we head over to the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary for a late afternoon hike.
It is a beautiful spot, a peaceful oasis at the edge of the city with trails that twist along the hillside. All we need is make a quick stop in the restroom and we’ll be ready to hike.
As I’m washing my hands I notice a heavy throbbing, the rumbling sound of heavy equipment running somewhere very near. The sirens begin as I pull the door open.
A fire truck parked immediately outside rumbles noisily while another flies by along the main road, sirens wailing. A few people mill about, none seem anxious.
Maybe it isn’t a good time to hike here.
We question a couple of the folks hanging around (there aren’t many people here) and they assure us it should be safe to walk through the nature preserve as, at the speed the firefighters were moving, whatever fire there might be must be quite a ways away.
Although clouds are building in the distance, the sky above is crystal clear. There is no sign of smoke.
Susan decides it is safe we are off.
It is lovely out here, but I keep looking at every cloud searching for smoke, trying to sniff out of the gusty wind.
I can’t. But I can’t relax either.
Susan points out the remnants of the winter’s snow, the rushing creek far below, hidden trails snaking off into the trees.
I note the birds calling from their hiding places, the texture of the trees and rocks, the storm approaching far in the distance. This is a place of simple rugged beauty. . . but the wind is racing – a fire would move with amazing speed.
I can’t enjoy this place today.