Boy OH Boy do I have a few stories to share. Kassi’s 21st birthday was last Tuesday. Kay and Todd bought a new trailer, every one of my siblings and other family showed up to camp at Easley Hot Springs. We had 4 camp sites and Karole and Kenny brought their 2 ATVs. The entertainment was Westin and Reagan-who at 2 years of age and 6 months old were about all it took. Scott’s other son, Nik arrived for one day, Karole’s sister in law from Boise the last day, and Karole’s friend, Teri drove from Ellensburg to meet up with us.
Yes, we knew the forest were burning and smoke would be everywhere around us, but what could we do? When Russ and I arrived, Kay and Todd with Kassi chomping at the bit- wanted us to go into Ketchum (Sun Valley) to eat and celebrate- after all you only turn 21 once. Todd was a good sport and matched Kassi shot for shot for for the first three, and of course Kassi’s were free. The Pioneer Inn (please, God, let it survive) was our life long favorite for dining. But Kassi wanted a bar bar-found 1! We played pool and drug her back to camp to meet up with everyone. Russ and I were designated drivers of course.
My grandad had a cabin-back in the day- near by and we used to follow a trail to the wonderful natural hot springs pool. It still was there with something extra, ashes!. But we swam and exercised and played with the babies in it. Kassi survived the birthday and went fishing with Uncle Todd and Kenny, her dad and mom. They went way into the wilderness on an old old road that went from Sun Valley to Mackey. You will need a map! Kay and Todd in waders worked the river, Ken and Kassi sat on the bridge. When Kay and Todd returned with their 4 trout, Ken and Kassi held up 20 and Kassi had caught the big one. If you want to know what to do with real trout, call my brother in law Todd. OMG!!!! What a great dinner we had that night.
The Beaver Creek fire had started that 2nd day and joined the others.
So from then on, we were in heavy smoke and ash. Still we kept in touch with the Forest Service fire crews and they told us we could go over Galena Summit to Red Fish Lake-as they would not call for an evacuation before that evening. Fearing we might get back to burned out homes, we still went to Red Fish and had a wonderful afternoon. Russ and I got in a bike ride, the others a boat trip, before the smoke from the other side blew in to us- so we headed back to camp. Huge plumes of smoke could be seen all the way to Galena Summit and we were in dark smoke into camp. So of course we went swimming. Met with firemen who said our campground would probably burn up in the next morning, possible the wonderful ancient pools, buildings and cabins. We slept expecting to be routed out of bed, but they did not tell us to evacuate until 8:30 AM and we were ready to get out. In the mean time everything else got out of hand and by the time we got to the RV water and dump in Haily my brother was standing there calling all of us to say-do not stop at Sun Valley for lunch, get the hell down here, they are closing the highway to Galena (now behind us) and evacuating Sun Valley and Ketchum and all the valley towns.
We all got out of the Valley ahead of the bumper to bumper parade behind us. Meanwhile Scott tells us that the fire on the tops of the mountains on the West Side of Highway 75 was feared to jump the highway which would completely wipe out the towns and spread to the Mackey wilderness area and the White Clouds and so on.
Well as of this moment we have not heard that it has gotten past the highway-but it tried several times and was put out so far. This fire was 30 miles long !!! It was jumping from canyon to canyon and burning up multi million dollar homes and ranches. Did you know that the people who insure Sun Valley and some of the multi million dollar homes and ranches have their own teams of fire fighters that they have sent to to try and save the big resorts, etc ? New one on me.
Will stop this blog now and send another one soon.