Monday, August 31, 2009

Auburn Wildfire

Yesterday, we were packing to spend three days on the coast at  Dancing Coyote Beach

We were married there, and love the whole Point Reyes National Seashore area.  We were going to take the kayaks, beach them in front of our cottage, and cool off from this awful heat wave.  Maybe some fresh oysters at Olema or Nick's....mmmmm.  

About 3 pm the sky.......... almost suddenly,  filled with an awful, low black smoke. It looked like a tornado was coming.  Garth took this photo from our backyard.  I went on the net and found out that there was a fire in town.

Then, we lost power (which, for us means  no cordless phone, a/c or water). We do have two corded phones and we received a reverse 911 call invoking mandatory evacuation.  Garth hitched up the trailer, we loaded some clothes, food, homeowner's insurance policy, passports (don't ask), medications, some jewelry, external hard drive, dog and cat food, cat box and Maggie and Missy.    We headed up I-80 and went to Ellen and Steve Johnson's house in Colfax and parked in their driveway ready to spend the night.  They had power, a/c, water....and most of all news!  At around 8:30 or so Garth determined that he was lifting our evacuation notice and we came home.  We started up the generator to get the refrigerator running and have a bit of light.  Power was restored somewhere  around midnight.  It is very hard for us to get our minds around all this. 
Here is where I am going for info. 

Now, here is the part that amazes me.  When you leave your home for what might be the last time, what do you take?   I have no idea why I took the passports, but..hey they are small.  On our way out the driveway, Garth stopped and ran back into the house and returned with a bunch of granola bars and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon  (good thinking).  My quilting friend, Elly, packed her new Janome and some quilts.  Since she was under voluntary evacuation, she and John and the pets eventually did not leave.  

What did I learn from all this?  First off, what is important to me:  my husband, my pets, the contents of my hard drive and a handful of jewelry.  Know your neighbors.  We live in the country, so that is almost a given.   Secondly:  You must have a cell phone that receives a signal where you are and a portable radio that can receive a signal.  We found that Garth's brother at Lake Tahoe and friends up in Colfax knew what was happening and we did not.  Had I not looked at the online news for those few minutes before we lost power, we would have been clueless and might have depended on rumor.   Finally:  take photos of items you own that are of value.    We are doing that this very day and will store them on a memory stick and online outside of the house.   Oh, and let's not forget that bottle of wine.
P.S.  By the way, I called to cancel our reservations this morning, and Janet at Dancing Coyote said she would send us a full refund.  That is another of the reasons we love this pretty place on the water.

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