Watching the Place I Love Burn

The High Park fire which now burns on the western ridge above Horsetooth Reservoir in Ft. Collins, CO. Photo via of one of my oldest friends and Ft. Collins resident.
I'm one of those people who loves a good natural disaster.  Well, I don't actually love them.  The truth is that I can easily become obsessed with reading and watching the news to see how the story is going to unfold.  It's a problem.

This week, I've been fixated on the High Park fire which has consumed 41,000+ acres in the mountains west of Ft. Collins, Colorado.  I'm particularly interested in this disaster because it happens to be taking place in my old stomping grounds.

My teenage years were spent hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing along the many trails in the Poudre Canyon, swimming and boating in Horsetooth Reservoir, tubing down the Poudre River, hiking in Lory State Park...  That land is a part of who I am.

As I read the news articles and Facebook updates from back home, my heart is saddened.  There has already been so much loss... Miles and miles of gorgeous Colorado mountains and valleys, homes, buildings, and at least one life has been claimed by this raging inferno that as I type still threatens to devour more.

Part of me wishes I could be there, standing on the eastern ridge of Horsetooth Reservoir, waiting to see how this story will end.  As if my very presence would somehow stop the winds and bring the rains needed to douse the flames.  

Instead I will watch from afar and wait for the news that the danger has passed and the destruction has ceased.  I will find hope and comfort in the truth that out of the ashes comes new life.  I've seen it before on the charred slopes of other Colorado mountains and I know that I will see it here too. 


I am linking up with Just Write today. Stop by Heather's blog to read other posts or add one of your own.

2 comment(s). Leave yours!:

gretchen from lifenut said... Best Blogger Tips

The smoke is awful today. It's thick enough to see and we are an hour south of Ft. Collins. I can't imagine being there, I can't imagine being evacuated, not knowing. I can't imagine losing everything like so many people. One bolt of lightning and loss ripples from there, touching a million lives. We live about 2 miles south of the airport where they are launching plane after plane to drop slurry. It's continuous and a constant reminder of what's happening...not that we forget with the smoke.

Great post.

kathleen said... Best Blogger Tips

The road going along the east side of the reservoir is closed today - I was able to drive it all the way to Bellvue yesterday. The sky was all hazy today as if it was going to rain but it was just dense smoke. At least 5 people I work with have been evacuated and another is on standby in Masonville. It's incredibly difficult to watch...and makes you immensely grateful for what you have. We have a bigger chance of rain later in the week but the winds are still a huge problem. Just 5% contained at 8PM Tuesday.

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