Monday, July 1, 2013

The Aroma of a Roaring Fire is Quite Pleasing

Unless, of course, you are living in the middle of a forest.

Two days ago, there was a thunderstorm. The lightning ignited a small fire on the other side of the ridge, a short distance from Dean Peak. Small enough that we didn't notice the smoke until the next day. I heard from one of the park maintenance guys today that the Pinion Pines Fire Department was fighting the blaze and had it under control.

That was about 8 o'clock this morning. Two hours later, the county sheriff was banging at our door, telling us we had to evacuate. We figured that the fire would be out later that day, so we started to pack up the laptop and the dogs for a brief downtown vacation.

Then someone told me that the Fire Department was going to let the conflagration burn itself out. That means two or three days, not one. So we prepared the RV for moving downhill.

That brought up an annoying problem: I procrastinate. When we first moved to Haulapai Mountain Park, I learned that the transmission fluid was low. "We're here until September," I thought. "I have plenty of time to deal with that." Well, today I had to drive the rig with an almost-dry transmission. To minimize the possible damage, I made nearly the entire trip in neutral. I only had to put it in gear twice, and then once again at the edge of town. From there, it was only about two miles to Zuni RV Park, where we are lodged for the next few days. Later today, we're going to Walmart to get some transmission fluid and a funnel.

We're safe here, but the temperature is over 100 degrees, instead of the nice, cool 79 degrees at the top of the mountain. Even with the air conditioners running, it's still over 90 degrees inside. I have no idea how we will sleep tonight.

On the up side, the local newspaper says workers are still attempting to put out the blaze, so we might be back on the mountain in a couple of days.