Friday, June 29, 2012

Vacation and Colorado Wildfires

First, sorry for no Fingerprint Friday this morning.
We were gone on vacation, and got home in the middle of the night so I slept in.

Last Saturday we headed off to our cabin near Colorado Springs.
We try to go every summer. You can see some of our previous visits here and here.

As we pulled into town, I looked at The Man and said, "I love this place. I could totally live here again."
We have lived in that area a few times since we've been married and it always feels like a home away from home.

Our cabin is in the mountains, near a town called Woodland Park.
There is a ridge that divides Woodland Park and Colorado Springs.

As we pulled into Colorado Springs, we could see smoke rising from the ridge, on the Woodland Park side.
The Man called his dad and told him there was a small fire there. It was about 50 acres or less at that point.
(Pike's Peak straight ahead, small fire to the right.)

We headed on through Colorado Springs, up the pass (highway 24) into Woodland Park and drove right past the fire.

We made it to our cabin just fine, started settling in and unpacking.

I kept an eye on twitter and the local news.
And I could tell the fire was growing. Fast.
The next day there was smoke everywhere, even at the cabin.
Highway 24 was closed down. It's the only route to Colorado Springs. The alternate route into the city takes about 2-3 hours through gravel mountain roads.
Worries started coming in about evacuations.
We spent the entire trip under pre-evacuation, which means we needed to be packed and ready to leave at a moment's notice.
But we just watched cautiously and tried to enjoy what we could of vacation.

We headed into Woodland Park to get gas and the entire town was filled with smoke.
Gas stations were packed. And gas was running out quickly.
This is Pike's Peak.

True Heroes.

On Tuesday The Man and his dad were up getting water. (We have to haul water to the cabin.) And from where they were, a huge windy storm blew over.
The Man said, "Oh no... that's headed straight for Colorado Springs."

The constant worry was if the wind blew one direction, the fire would head toward Woodland Park and us.
If it headed the other direction, it would blow straight into the city.
We were lucky, and it didn't blow our way.
Sadly, it did blow into the city. The fire raced down the ridge and into the city at 65 miles an hour.

I watched in horror on the local news as the city was being burned.
I cried. I felt lucky and helpless at the same time.
I put out updates on Facebook and Twitter, trying to let people know just how serious the fire really was, since national news wasn't covering it.

We finally left the cabin a bit early and came home yesterday.
Official word now is that over 300 homes were destroyed.
Numerous businesses were lost.
At least one death so far.

As we were driving out of Colorado Springs yesterday there was a rainbow.
Such a symbol of hope from God.

Despite the losses, the city will rebuild.
They will be a beacon.

While it's not much, we want to help them rebuild.
So from now, through the entire month of July, we want to give $10 from each of our Team USA necklaces sold to Salvation Army, Pike's Peak region.
This fire affected one major city, but we can ALL pitch in to help!

Soon, I'll post more "vacation" photos from our trip... things that we actually enjoyed.
But for now this need is urgent and I wanted to get this part of the story out there.


Katherine said...

Great job! You always help by doing what you can. We are waiting to hear if my husband will be shipped out there to help fight the fires. If he goes, he'll be gone anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

Courtney Walsh said...

Beki, this fire really kicked up on the day we moved out of Colorado back to Illinois. Just a few weeks before, the High Park fire had the same affect on me that this one did on you...just helpless and scary all at the same time. I've never experienced anything like that. I am so thankful you are safe and your home away from home is safe, but I can't stop thinking of and praying for CO Springs and our friends there. Such a beautiful place. It's so sad. :(

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

I had no idea you'd lived here before, Beki. It's so surreal looking at your pictures of this happening on the other side of the fire. Tuesday was one of worst days ever in our city. That was unbelievable! It was helpless and horrifying down here in the Springs, too. A friend of mine was evacuated and is at our house until she's able to go back to her apartment. Praise God nothing is wrong with her place - she just can't go there yet, but hopefully soon. I do have a friend who lost his home, though. So heartbreaking. So unbelievable to watch the burning and see the images and know that it's part of your own city, not some movie or theatrics; the real deal. Scary and sad.

Love the necklace. Off to place my order.

HeARTworks said...

The national news is not covering it? That's strange. I'm in the Philippines and there's news about it and videos. It's terrible. Some friends on FB have evacuated because of all the smoke. So many homes lost, really sad. Patsy from

TheNextMartha said...

It was really disappointing to see national news not pick up on it. Glad you were safe.

Melinda said...

This is such a sad story!
We love Colorado and enjoyed our visit to Colorado Springs several years ago. It scary to see Pike's
Peak that way knowing that we have been up that mountain.
Prayers and blessings for EVERYONE
affected by the fires.

The rainbow is great--hope to see many more.

Glad that you and your family made home safely!


Unknown said...

I love the rainbow picture!! My roommate and I are headed toward Estes on Tuesday. We usually try to go to Colorado Springs and/or Estes at least once a year. So sad for these people!!!

Kristin said...

So sad. I was keeping up with the fires on my local news in Florida and then Tropical Storm Debby graced our presence. Praying for the communities involved.

Also, I am nominating you for the One Lovely Blog Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I was nominated after my nominee read my Fingerprint Friday this past Friday (I posted mine Thursday night before I knew there wasn't one this week). Because your link party motivates me to look back upon my week, at the good and bad, and see God's fingerprints, you are both lovely and inspiring =)

Kristin said...

Oh, forgot to leave my post link!

JoAnn said...

we just got back from 10 days in Colorado for our family vacation. It was very scary to see the fires. We sure enjoyed our time in Colorado though. We rented a jeep near Ouray and went 4 wheeling in the mountains. So much fun! Keeping Colorado in my prayers.

Bethany said...

WOW! My parents own a Bed and Breakfast (Rocky Mountain Lodge and Cabins) with a couple of cabins in Cascade (really close to woodland park). Here's a link. Just thought you might have been heading there. My parents b&b and cabins were saved through the grace of God! So scary you were there! Praise God for his protection!