Monday, July 23, 2012

Way Out West - The Prolog

We made it to The High Lonesome Ranch
And so it begins…a tale about an epic trip.  A trip with enough ups and downs and wild curves that will make you think we were riding a roller coaster the whole time. This 10-day Colorado Rocky Mountain trip had us dodging wildfires, fly fishing for big trout, shooting clays, eating great food, drinking local brews, white water rafting, horseback riding and even a trip to the ER.

Where to start?  How about the wildfires?  First, let me offer my condolences to those that lost property and even life to those record wildfires. For weeks I had been following the news and wondered whether the wildfires would impact our travel.  At one point I even felt guilty because my connection to the fires was a vacation. The best justification? The state was losing tourist dollars and at the time there were no major fires near The High Lonesome Ranch. We were encouraged to go and spend our tourist dollars...a very, small action to a natural tragedy.

So…about a week before I contacted the ranch and simply asked, “Would the current wildfires hinder our travel to Denver or the drive to De Beque?”

The answer, “no.”

Friday before we left, I pulled up the internet to check on the progress of the Colorado wildfires.  Even though the fires I knew about were not going to affect our travel, I was rooting for the fire fighters to contain them to limit further loss.

But what popped up on my screen, was not believable at first.  There was a new headline, “Wildfire Near De Beque Grows to 12,000 Acres.”  Not only was this a new fire, but as it turns out it was just 10 miles from the ranch.  Down went my emotions, screaming the whole way. I texted my wife the news…then called the ranch.

Fortunately for us and of course the people of De Beque and the ranch staff, the fire fighters contained the flank headed towards the small town.  The ranch was in a completely different canyon, and given the conditions the fire was nearly impossible to spread that direction. So with a little less uncertainty we boarded a plane the next day and flew into Denver.

The following day we loaded up the rental vehicle and drove west. As we exited I-70 in De Beque we could see smoke rising in the distance. While still burning the fire was being contained.

God bless those that battled those blazes.

No comments:

Post a Comment