As I’m sure you’ve heard, fires — from California to Idaho to Arizona to Utah — have hit the West very hard this year. The smoke from those fires blows eastward, and every morning and many afternoons obscure what would otherwise be clear, beautiful vistas. But their impact is most keenly felt by those whose homes have been destroyed and those who have lost loved ones. I think often of Mike McCloskey, 22, from New Jersey, who I met in Shingletown, CA, shortly before the fires broke out and started rampaging through the area just west of Shingletown. Mike’s father was a fireman back home, but Mike wanted to gain his experience in the West fighting different kinds of fires. I hope he’s okay. The following pictures are from the past few days crossing the Colorado River; hiking through Monument Valley, which straddles both Utah and Arizona; and the Four Corners. Yesterday and today strong storms and heavy rains have ripped through parts of Colorado-New Mexico. With good fortune, other western areas may also be benefiting from this soaking.
Crazy weather…be careful!
The fires have now reached Montana. I have a friend hiking the CDT. He has had to work around via side trails to avoid the fires. He mentions the constant struggle of hiking in smoke filled air. I think it’s impact is surely felt across the western states. Glad you are safe and enjoying the journey.
Dan: Please keep me posted on your friend; hope he’s doing okay. When I get back would enjoy getting together with you (of course) and him and hearing about his adventures.