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Old 08-06-2014, 03:11 PM   #1
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Montana Trip Report - The Last Day First

I'm posting this out of order because the main section is still under construction and this last is still somewhat newsworthy.

1 Aug
Coyotes again in the morning. Up early to watch the sun come up from the spring. Packed up and hit the road before it got too hot.



Goose Lake had almost no water, just dust devils. I remembered what it looked like on our way to Idaho river trips in years past. The sky was a dense grey smoky haze.

We stopped near McArthur and saw the source of the haze. We were surrounded by fires. Took some photos.





We could see trees explode in flame as they crowned out.



Decided to continue on 299 to hwy 89, then south to 44 in order to get upwind of all the smoke and camp at our usual spot on Battle Creek camp ground road. Things were already getting hectic in Fall River Mills.



As we drove 89 we got closer and closer to the fire. In Hat Creek fire trucks were pulling into driveways to try and save structures as people were loading their belongings and pets into their cars to evacuate. The chp was driving by code 3 in both directions. The fire was on our right and had jumped over the hill. With the wind from the west it was heading toward the road. At one point the fires was about 200 yards from us. It was the closest Iíve ever been to a wildfire. Very scary and emotional. (Those are Sherri's words. I worked fire crew for CDF and USFS a couple of seasons in the early 70s. Not scary or emotional for me but a bit of an adrenaline rush driving into all the crazy fire traffic.)



We just skated through by the skin of our teeth. As we reached the junction of 89 and 44 at Old Station the CHP was already setting up a road block and turning back traffic. They had closed the road behind us just a few minutes after we had started down it. Glad I didn't stop for a second cup of coffee that morning.

After that, Saturday was an easy slide down into Redding, a quick visit with a friend and then over the hills to home. 23 days, our longest effort yet.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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Re: Montana Trip Report - The Last Day First

Holly crap.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Montana Trip Report - The Last Day First

Just finished the complete report. Fantastic. Looks like you guys had a great time. Thanks for taking the time to post.
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