Hi y’all. This post is coming to you from an hotel room. Michelle, the cat Mewson, and I are hunkering down awaiting word to return to Lincoln City. RETURN you say? What happened???
Zombie Hellfire Devil Smoke winds happened!
Last week I posted about the ride into the hills to avoid the crowds.
Funny, a week ago all we cared about was avoiding the traffic and too many people. But I am getting ahead of myself here…
Saturday was uneventful. One of the last big chores of the summer was staining the deck in preparation for the winter rains. I hit that early on, and then we just relaxed around the house for the rest of the day.
Sunday, we loaded the bikes and went into Corvallis, leaving the crowded ocean to ride the pretty much deserted bike paths of this college town. We then had a great lunch and went shopping at Trader Joes! Yep, we are party animals I tell ya!
Monday morning hit, it was low tide, and although a bit foggy, it was a great morning to walk the beach.
The Pelicans agreed it was a good morning to be out
Someone is also a much better rock stacker than I am.
Plus it was a box office day for agate hunting!
Later that day after puttering around the house, it was time for a bike ride. I decided to take the gravel bike along the coast.
The ride started out chilly and foggy, I was worried early on I shoulda brought more than just a wind vest.
As the ride progressed though, it got warmer and the sun came out. The Oyster catchers were catching tan at Depoe bay.
I also got to watch a fishing boat come into the harbor.
I went to the newly reopened Rocky Creek wayside, and hung out for bit eating a cookie and enjoying the quiet.
I was pleasantly surprised how little traffic there was and a lack of people. Seems like people left early to head home.
I was even more surprised that there was NO WIND going home. It didn’t register at the time, but it was also much warmer than when I started. Truly one of the best north bound rides I’d ever had. I was in a great mood.
I even spotted a never been seen bird in Siletz Bay.
I was home and having dinner, kinda dreading the next morning at work, but happy about the ride.
I was home for about half an hour when a neighbor texted me asking where the smoke was coming from….
What smoke, thought I. I walked outside and sure as hell, it reeked outside!
The winds shifted and came from the east. That NEVER happens. And we were getting smoke from inland forest fires.
DAMN!! I ran around and closed all the windows in the house. Thinking, “great gonna smell smoke for a few days…”
The temperature was also rising! When I went to be it was 77! it had gone up almost 20 degrees since the start of my ride!
At 130 AM the power went out….
The next morning, after a serious windstorm I slept through, this was out neighborhood. I did NOT use any filters on this.
The power was still out. This was the beach (not my photo)
We were lucky that our neighbor let us plug the fridge into his generator!
Yeah the smoke was bad!! The power was out, so it was a day of reading books and avoiding going outside with ash falling.
That night, with the east winds whipping and the air drying out, fires started burning at the far north end of town. Power came back on at 2 AM, which was nice, but we woke up to hearing that the nearby town of Otis was burning and the winds were blowing the flames our way…
Michelle was off and spent the day monitoring social media and the local emergency scanner app while I worked.
As the day went on, evacuation levels were issued to Lincoln County, The north end was level 3, “LEAVE NOW!”
Mid town was Level 2, “Have the car loaded and be ready to LEAVE NOW! when we tell you.”
We were level one. “Gather your crap just in case!”
Northbound out of town was closed for fires, and southbound was a parking lot all day….
It was not easy to concentrate on work…
Along about quitting time, the neighbor, who is a deputy sheriff came out to go to work. I walked over to talk to him.
He advised he was sending his family out of town. “out of an abundance of caution” Even though we were still level one, he recommended we do the same!
Michelle and I had said all day, If the neighbor was staying so were we. If he was bugging out…
We quickly got on the interwebs and found a pet friendly hotel inland. I called and they had one room left. We booked it for 3 days
By the time we left, traffic had cleared. Newport, south of us, traffic was slow as people were lining up into the street to get gas… We had enough, and with some coaching from the ever intrepid Michelle, we bypassed traffic and were soon on HWY 20 e/b to Corvallis doing the speed limit!
We got to the hotel and saw this map.
The red is LEAVE NOW! The bottom of the read is Schooner Creek road. That is RIGHT near our house (its the road I was on Friday!!) Thirty minutes later, we got notice the power was out at home again. The power company shut it off to prevent more fires!
We were glad we left, and finally were able to sit and enjoy a glass of wine!
Meanwhile Mewson took a bath
While we were driving here, out neighbor who stayed showed us that there was a looter casing the house!
We woke up safe and sound! However, there was an emergency we needed to take care of. We have the litter box, but no scoop to clean it with! We made a quick run to Target for one. Good thing we did! Mewson was on the phone complaining to the manager when we got back to the room!
The news in encouraging this morning!
The weather is cooperating back home. The fires are getting under control and are no where near our house. the air is still smokey, but improving. We have hopes of heading home tomorrow! We will spend the night here for sure today. then asses after coffee in the morning.
The important thing is we are safe and sound. We took the important things. Us and our cat. Everything else insurance would cover if need be.
People all over Oregon had to go and go now, including our best friends in Shady cove. All are safe though!
2020 just seems not to stop.
I am worried that this picture I took on the ride at a local art studio is a harbinger of what is next!
I will do a quick post when we get home. All is well and we are fine!
DAMN, who’da thought living at the coast we’d have evacuate because of fire???