Updated: Aug 15, 2020
My daughter "starts" school next week, my son the following week, so I decided one last, little trip would be fun. My parents have a place on the other side of the mountains that I had been wanting to go visit again, so this was perfect. I could take all my groceries, and not have to eat out. We had a free place to stay, it was all set. Here is a picture of us several years ago enjoying our visit by the river. See, wouldn't that have been nice?
We picked my daughter up at her grandma's home (she had been visiting). Traffic was fine. We cruised along for 3 hours or so. Then we stopped. And there was a sign saying the highway was closed. We had noticed it seemed smoky while we were driving, but didn't pay that much attention to it. Then we found out the highway was for real closed, like not reopening in an hour after an accident type closed. Closed. Period. Both directions. Wild fire in a canyon closed. So we inched forward as they detoured everyone off a tiny exit ramp. As we crept forward, I could see there was a turn around crossing the median ....so I took it. I wasn't the only one. It was safe, as there was hardly any traffic coming the other way, as you know, the highway was closed. Honestly, it probably would have helped if more people took it, as traffic was now backed up to the previous exit and they were turning everyone around now there too. We are talking miles of cars and trucks. Miles and miles. It was crazy.
So we drove some more, and got lost in another town. And paid the "mountain town price" of $3.30/gallon for gas, and ate cookies and beef jerky for lunch, because that was what the day was like, frustrating and kinda fun. Also, it isn't like you can just jump on another highway, we are talking mountain passes and 3 hour detours, that everyone is trying, that are not meant for that kind of traffic. We finally ended up at my oldest son's house, ate pizza, and played video games. We came home this morning, the highway is still closed.
I don't know. All in all it was something to remember, right? An adventure of sorts for sure. And while an inconvenience for me, the real concern is for the firefighters who are dealing with this, and the homes that are being evacuated. The wildlife and all nature in that beautiful area. And of course, we all just would like it contained before anyone is hurt and more damage is accumulated. I may have sworn off ever driving that highway again, but I am thinking by fall, when the trees are changing, I might give it a try again. I might just go the back way......