Saturday, September 5, 2009

Station fire, view from altadena, weekend





A trip with fellow blogger Arthorse ("B")

This morning, we hiked up a steep new dozer line. The sand gave way with every step and I tried to set my feet parallel to the hill, as if on skis. B dug her heavy duty hikers deep into the dirt, and smiled when I started to worry. Her voice said "Come on," but her eyes said, "You candy ass." (Oh, she'll deny this, of course.)



How did those bulldozers get up here? It's maybe a 20% angle and seems impossible.

Two thirds of the way, B and I had had enough. The last third was maybe a 10% angle, almost straight up and down. We might as well try to climb up to the sky. So we planted ourselves and took some pictures.




We decided to leave this and head towards the Brown Mountain Trail.








For years, I’ve called the San Gabriels “My Mountain.” Other people may lay a similar claim. But my horse Vandy and I have charged up the hills so many times. I’ve sweated here, been thrown here. I’ve had concussions here. I’ve broken bones here, dropped blood here. I am physically a part of this ground. My horse, my candy ass and me. (Oh bugger, is it "and I?" In a major fire, one can never find the Strunk and White.)






To my mountain: Hey my friend, if you can stand this, so can I. If you come back, so will I.



(Photo of Brown Mountain in its prime/Bonnie Robb)

Arthorse has started a new blog to follow the resurrection of Brown Mountain here.

22 comments:

  1. Hard to imagine looking at the photos, but it will come back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. From your shots, it looks more like a new potential landfill area. Certainly doesn't look today like a fav spot for hiking. Yes, it will come back sooner than we expect, but not fast enuf.

    In the meantime, the Angeles Natl Forest is gonna be in de ICU for a bit. Recovering from man, woman, and nature.

    Today the firefighters have been trying to protect Big Santa Anita Canyon. We can only pray as the large plumes of cloudy smoke spread far & wide.

    Continue your expeditions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic images. Certainly heartbreaking to see - especially from a distance, but thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can you tell me where one can get a permit to enter the Angeles NF to take photos too? I'd like to hike up that fire road as well but I'm worried about the $5,000 fine and six months in jail for entering the closed area.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your photos are way too reminiscent of my experience in the Topanga/Malibu fire in the early 80's, where it also came to close for comfort.

    As you did, I went in as soon as I could and took 35 mm photos. (Film, that outdated stuff that kids don't even know existed already.) What isn't surprising is that the devastation looks the same.

    What did surprise me back then, was that I went back about 3 weeks later to find new greenery budding. I know the climate in your area is similar but different.

    Obviously Topanga and Malibu are closer to to the ocean and the air inherently has more moisture from the marine layer. It will be interesting to see how long it take for you to see new growth budding. Lets hope you get some gentle onshore winds that bring your mountains some moisture.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey my friend: if you can stand this so can I. I came back: so will you.

    Or even: I came back so you will. Now I need my Fowlers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the pix, Karin. Must have been a difficult experience to go to your favorite places.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my, I can only imagine how difficult that would be to see first hand where you have spent so many wonderful times. We'll celebrate its return.

    V

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Karen !! The shots are fantastic and beautiful.I loved the location and would love to visit some day..Great post ..Unseen Rajasthan

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh my. That sounds like a hard trip to take in so many ways.

    Yes, it will grow back, but right now, it just plain ol' sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It will come back. It will do so in its way.

    George Carlin wasn't a scientist but I think he was right about the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Moving post. We know it will regenerate--it is in its nature--but the devastation is still hard to see.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well this is really sad to take in these photos. But you are doing a public service. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It was kind of a jolt to drive home today and see the new look of the hills from a distance. Will take some getting used to.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jesus, it's horrible. It's like landascape from the moon. So sad.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Unbelievable! We call it ”ski-walking” here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sad to see this devastation. But would be fun to see the new growth in the coming years.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow...so barren. Actually seeing the effects of the fire is so different from just knowing that it burns...

    ReplyDelete
  19. When we were driving home yesterday, I was struck by how the mountains suddenly looked like they were a black-and-white photoscape superimposed into an otherwise color photograph. Weird. And eerie.

    Great photos.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great photos and perspective - haven't been up close to the burned areas yet.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The photos and comments from you and your visitors tell me more than TV video does, never mind its expensive production values (is that the right lingo?). I suppose there are several ways to explain that--for one thing, you and yours have more reality or immediacy, probably an inherent virtue in (good) blogging. But it still interests me that relative strangers in southern California (of all places!) can have more info and impact than slick professionals.

    Are people emerging with souls intact?

    ReplyDelete