Rachel S. Heslin
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Shawn came up last night "just in case." I mean, I knew that, if necessary, I was quite capable of taking myself and the cats down the back way in the little white car, but he felt more comfortable being with me and, frankly, I did feel better with him there.

At 9:00 this morning, they announced a Voluntary Evacuation. I finished packing and went into work to pick up some files and help my boss load the CPUs into a co-worker's van so she could take them down the hill.

At 11:00 this morning, they announced Mandatory Evacuation. Shawn was already loading stuff in the car; I ran around finding last minute things, driving over to our friends (who would be caravaning down in three cars) to loan them our walkie talkies, and attempting to coax the cats into their carriers.

At 11:20am, they announced that another fire had broken out at Angelus Oaks, and the 38 -- the primary artery off the mountain -- had been closed.

By noon, we'd rounded up the last cat, stuffed the car to the gills and beyond -- Shawn even managed to pack my harp by wrapping it with pillows, stuffing it in his dive bag and strapping it to the roof -- and headed north on the 18 toward Lucerne Valley. The (until recently) blue skies of the valley were now marred by an enormous ash cloud rising from below, a cloud that resembled nothing so much as a nuclear blast.

We drove east and south through Yucca Valley, finally ending up at my Grandma's house in Riverside about 3ish. Starlight complained the entire way.

When we only had to worry about the Arrowhead/Devore fires, I didn't really believe that we were in any personal danger, and I primarily wanted to get off the hill so we wouldn't be in the way of emergency personnel. Now, with a fire on this side of the hill as well, we can only keep our fingers crossed and hope it's quelled quickly.


An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
-- G.K. Chesterton

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