Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flat Tire, Fat Tire and Vacation

I have been riding to work regularly, it's been nice. The weather has been better this May than it was the entire last summer! I hope it sticks around.

I got a flat tire on my ride to work. It was not the best way to start the day. I ended up totally ruining the tube, because I rode on the flat for a distance. I went to the bike shop to get a new tube and asked the Bike guy to have it installed by the end of the day, because I had to get back to work and didn't have time to do it myself and it takes him a fraction of the time it takes me to change road tires. So I walked back to the shop after work and the tire was still there, flat as a pancake. Bike guy was busy so I ended up doing it myself anyway. It's that crazy time of year for the Bike guy so I can't blame him, I was just hoping...

We recently picked up some sea kayaks!! :) I also finally got a 4 wheeler, now I don't have to be the passenger anymore! But we will continue to be careful not damaging trails.

We went on vacation for the last 2 weeks, a few days in Vegas (smells like sewer and cigerettes - yuck - too loud, hot and crowded), Utah (Zion and Bryce - loved it!) around the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and back to Vegas. We were supposed to go canyoneering in the slots and hike the Narrows but because of unusually rain the risk of flash floods cancelled our plans. That was really disappointing. A few photos from Zion. Loved it! I think I could live in Utah. Drank lots of Fat Tire and the local brews, that was fun to try the different brews.



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Rode

In the rain today
And it was good!

Lots has been going on. I'm going to try an post more often.

We didn't make it to the cabin over spring break because I couldn't get the time off so we did a couple super quick weekend trips. The final trip the weather was just amazing and the temps were so warm we were peeling off layers of clothing while sitting on the lake ice fishing. It was really nice. The eagles are back for the summer.
The weather here has been spectalular, already warmer this spring that it was the entire last summer. Things are not yet green here, though and with the warmth and sunshine comes dry conditions.

Our neighbor decided to burn his lawn last Friday. Capt'n Balance and I had the day off and I was sitting on the deck soaking up the sun while he was talking to a friend. I pointed out to the guys that it looked like the neighbor's fire was getting too big for him to control. The guys said "naw" and kept on talking. Then I told them the fire crossed the fence and was now in our hayfield. No big deal, said the guys. The neighbor had his hose on it.

The friend left and I told the Capt'n the fire WAS OUT OF CONTROL! FINALLY he took a look and sure enough, he's running for anything he can grab to put it out. Well, there wasn't anything to grab because we have no water over there, we hook up irrigation pipes to a well across the road when we need to water it, which hasn't been for a few years. SOOOO, we towels and buckets. Wet the towels and of course the few gallons of water in the buckets does basically nothing.

The wind picks up and the fire gets BIG and moves FAST. It starts heading towards the log pile, my folks 5th wheel RV and the BARN! My house is attached to the barn. The barn was built in the 40's and has old grain and hay everywhere. Fire gets there and it will be a total loss. We call 911 and keep beating on the flames. My dog follows me as I run back to the neighbor who is standing on his side of the fence still, holding his hose. I rewet my towel and realize my dog is following me. I start running back to the leading edge of the flames and the wind kicks up and blows the fire right at my dog and I. My dog freaks and starts running away, but deeper into the field which is on fire. He is surrounded on 3 sides, I'm running to him and calling him to do a 180 and come back the way he came, then we would be fine but he was stepping on flames and freaked so bad he wouldn't listen to me. I got about 20 feet away and he finally bolted straight ahead through a wall of flames, but past the fire and clear of the fire. He's paws are burned though and he's hurting. He will be OK, we think. We have a vet coming to look at them. We couldn't tell how burned he was until yesterday, burns tend to show the extent of their damage a few days down the road.

So now the dog is out of danger, I'm sucking smoke and feeling heat, my face is a little scortched.

The wind changed again and the fire is now on a rampage towards the barn. Division of Forestry trucks start to arrive but they go down the neighbor's road instead of our driveway and the first truck gets stuck in muck and the other trucks can't get to the fire because of the fence. The fire is MINUTES from torching the RV and the barn! I'm screaming at the forestry guys, telling them where to go. I start running to the road, which is over a half mile away from the fire, my lungs are full of smoke and I'm not in a good place mentally. I start waving my towel and FINALLY guide a truck to my driveway and around the barn to the fire. They go right to the leading edge which is heading towards the barn and start up the pump in the back of their truck. They only have 75 to 150 gallons in these trucks.....soon they are out of water but they have stopped the fire from heading towards the barn and then a real fire truck shows and refills the Forestry trucks. We had about 8 forestry trucks and the fire tanker and they finally put it all out. Then they start their investigation and they talking to us...they think WE started the fire and let it get out of control. I set them straight immediately. Our neighbor felt very bad and apologized. If there had to be a fire, it worked out OK because if it went any other direction it WOULD have burned down 3 homes.

The fire was about 50 ft away from the rv/barn. Too close for comfort. I have to say, when they Foresty guys went down the wrong road, I really thought my home was a loss. The fire was soo big, so close, it was a horrible feeling.

But all's well that ends well. We have rain today and it's making things green up and that burn will grow back greener and healthier than the unburned hay.

These were taken about a half hour after the Forestry guys showed up and took over. I was covered with soot and almost sick from breathing smoke. My throat felt like it was on fire.