Well things are settling down for us here in Woodland Park. Depending on which way the winds blowing, we can either have clear skies or smoke filled ones. It's a little scary waking up in the middle of the night with smoke in the bedroom but we're getting used to it. We are not sure if sitting around the campfire with friends will ever be the same again (it's the smell) but time will tell.
Yesterday they were able to open up highway 24 which is great because something like 70,000 people come up and down the mountain every day for commuting or just to enjoy what we have (or had) in the high country. This morning, Heather is one of them. They were also able to allow residents back into Green Mountain Falls, Cascade, and Chipita Park. These are all really small towns that are just a few miles below us. I still can't believe that the only structure we lost on this side of the mountain was a small wooden shed. Unreal. I do have friends that stay in those towns and several of them are concerned about the amount of smoke damage that was caused.
The fire is now at 55% containment as of last night and that's amazing. If the fire had been started a few ridges over or in a different location all together, or if the wind and weather patterns had been different, we might not have a home at all anymore. Being from the midwest, I'm not used to this at all. We lived in Tornado Alley and although I've never seen one, I don't imagine people know about their homes being destroyed until after they return. Wildfires are so different. You can watch them on t.v. and see how they behave and move. Most know how much love and respect I have for movig water. The same river can be calm in one section, and rage in another. Whats more is that just a few feet from a whitewater section can be an eddy that flows back up the river. The river has so many different personalities. The fire seemed to be a lot like that. Relatively slow to progress (almost timid and shy) in some areas and prolifically angry in others.
So thankful to be home again.