Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 SMR 29 Fire and Rain Ride

The fire's been out for a week.  Let's see the damage up close.

Forecast for sprinkles - I decided to ride my winter bike and bring a windbreaker (WAY underestimated how wet it was going to get).  It was sunny and clear over my neighborhood but there was a dark cloud over the Mountain.

I already knew from Wednesday Night's Ride that there wasn't anything to see on North Gate Road.  I was planning the video I would make for today's ride and I imagined a theme of loss and recovery - maybe with some slow motion edits for impact... then I realized I could just ride slowly and get the same effect!

Tarantula Tally:  one crawler and one cadaver.

A mile or so above the Junction... a little before The Pines picnic area, is where you first see major damage - acres of brush on the south side of the road just charred.  Then there were smaller charred areas all the way up to Juniper with some really large plots of charred land near the water tank, the pipe, and Devil's Elbow.

Muir picnic area is one of my favorite spots for a Diablo Spy Cam - there was a picnic table hidden from the road by some tall bushes and an outhouse - table, bushes, and outhouse are now just piles of ash.

Another thing I thought about was how different the Diablo Challenge will be this year.  You really get a different feeling riding past charcoal than buckeye trees and mesquite.  It was extra eerie because of the fog and drizzle; such an extreme change from a week ago.

From the Summit you could see how close the fire got to the structures and the antenna towers.  I got a nice perspective on the area shown in the photo I posted last week with the plane dropping fire retardant.

I was a little concerned that there would be a lot of vehicle traffic today - folks wanting to check out the fire damage for themselves... and there was a little more than usual, but I think the threat of rain kept most of them away.  Probably double or triple the amount of cyclists up there for a September Saturday though.  I think we were all happy to be back on the Mountain... yay firefighters; this could've been a lot worse.

The rain got pretty thick before I was back down - had to stop several times to wipe my eyes just so I could see.

OK, here's the video - enjoy.

Fire and Rain
from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

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