I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The whole of Glenrosa and now across the highway down to the lake has been evacuated. That means that The Cherry Pit is closed for business so Shonah won't be able to take Ashleigh and Rob for breakfast there as she had planned. Overnight, the fire has grown to 250 hectares and is showing no signs of being contained. They are still reporting that only 3 houses have burned down but I can't imagine that is still the case. I see on FaceBook that some friends who had just arrived at the camp on the mountain I went to as a teen were evacuated right away and now the week of Family Camp is canceled.

note: above pic taken from site of the '03 fire burned trees in foreground

Ashleigh calls me at about noon to tell me that they are on their way home. They have to drive the long way around as the highway out of town goes right through the fire so is closed. She is feeling much better today. I am thinking that she must have had food poisoning. Even if she ate what everyone else ate, some of the food was take-out and hers could have been from an old rotation.

We watch the news throughout the day and learn that there are now two new fires. One is an enormous one burning down the valley on Terrace Mountain. It is burning unchecked as there is nothing up there but a ranch or two whereas the Glenrosa fire and now the Rose Valley fire threaten whole subdivisions and even the town of Westbank. All firefighters are needed at those two fires. The Rose Valley fire is heading over a ridge where a friend of mine has a house. She writes on FaceBook that it is snowing ashes at her house.

Shonah comes over at about 3 and we drive out to the far Mission to see the fires from across the lake. All we see is a lot of smoke, no flames, and there are 3 helicopters scooping water from the lake and then dumping it on the mountain. I can see that the Rose Valley fire has crested the ridge and is now heading towards my friends home. We take some pictures and Shonah decides to come back later when it's dark to get some shots of fire.

We drive to White Spot to get some yam fries and as we are driving back into town, we now have a full view of the smoke rising from the Terrace Mountain fire. It's immense. There is a massive cloud that extends from the mountain all the way down the valley to over Winfield. It goes from one side of the valley right over to the other. As the sun goes down, the play of shadows and sunlight on the ground is surreal in color and looks almost painted on. If this keeps up, there will be no sunlight at all tomorrow.

If you click on the third picture to enlarge it, you will see a helicopter fighting the blaze with a bucket of fire retardant on a rope dangling below it.

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