It is hard to believe, that it was two short weeks ago we saw the first signs of the Waldo Canyon fire from our deck. I was hanging with my kids while my husband did a ride (coming home through Waldo Canyon nonetheless). We were outside putting a few new plants into pots, when we noticed the smoke on the hillside. I snapped this picture with my iPhone…and, when I did, I never imaged that over the course of the next few days lives would be forever changed, and 346 homes destroyed. The images below were taken during the first few hours of the fire before we were evacuated.
From the time lapse I watched, sometime late Sunday the winds shifted and the fire moved and grew in every direction expect ours, culminating with the horrific events of Tuesday when spurred by 65 mile per hour winds, the flames burst out of Queens Canyon and into the Mountain Shadows neighborhood.
I am in awe of the first responders (both locally and those that traveled from across the US) that managed to contain this fire and save the homes they did (including several friends’ homes that were threatened). I still can’t comprehend what the folks in Mountain Shadows are going through, or the road that lies ahead for that neighborhood to regroup and rebuild. However, despite all the loss, I am grateful that from this event I was able to witness a community coming together, to experience the generosity and support brought on by this fire. The displays of gratitude have been deeply touching. I snapped the image below while going through an intersection where crowds began gathering for the twice daily fire fighter shift changes to give thanks, and show their support for the amazing work done. On the day of this photo, there was a band playing, hundreds of people cheering, waving flags and signs, and as the fire fighters were driving through they were honking, sounding sirens, flashing lights and slowing to give high fives.
I love the human spirit. I love that in a time of chaos, people pull together in ways big and small. I love that people have amazing creative ideas, like the folks at http://www.wildfiretees.com, and those wonderful ideas blow up. I am thankful that my friends’ homes were unharmed,and that we are all OK. I am appreciative of the love and support from friends and family, and all those that checked in with us to make sure we were okay.
There you have it, my Waldo Canyon Fire experience. It will stay with me for a long, long time, and I have yet to venture over to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. I’m still kind of weepy about it all, which feels strange since we were not directly impacted in a big way. I am taking comfort in the fact that it’s the positive and inspirational stuff that has me most teary. Although if I am honest, I may just also be weepy – the commercials for the Olympics have me reaching for the Kleenex as well.
On a side note…while I made fun of my husband for loading up one of his mountain bikes during our evacuation in the middle of the night, I should confess that I grabbed not only my knitting bag with my Rock Island and motif 7 WIPs, but also a bag with some extra yarn and the Calla Cami pattern that I’ve been hoping to get started. While I was obviously feeling rather ambitious at 3 AM, alas, not much knitting was done.