Que Mala

Welcome to California – it’s actually a desert state, more arid than damp, and wholly unlike the “Pacific North-Wet.” Years and years of forestry mismanagement results in this, obvious conclusion. I can’t even see my neighbor’s house across the fence-line, and the AQI is extraordinarily bad. Shelter in place today.

UPDATE: The afternoon brought us easterly winds and the overhead sky improved a lot, and so did the air-quality index, but this pattern is expected to repeat with no rain in sight. I think the doggie suffers the most, but often we can’t keep her inside, she’s always been an outside dog and doesn’t like confinement.

136,643 Acres

Wiggly “Dr. Seuss Tree” off in the distance.

As the sun rose above the tree line this morning, a red rubber ball, behind and to the right of the wiggly “Dr. Seuss Tree,” you could just make out the top of the fire-cloud. Reportedly the West end of the fire near Grizzly Flat, down in the Cosumnes River canyon, has been boxed-in and 12% containment achieved…

Yesterday a mid-day breeze out of the southwest blew away the smoke and our AQI improved vastly by the afternoon, and the same pattern is expected to be repeated through the weekend. But that pattern includes an nighttime cooling wind that allows the smoke to drift down the mountains overnight and bring the AQI down – or up, depending on your perspective.

Finally around 3:30PM with a bit more wind the skies overhead became somewhat more blue than gray, and after another hour and a half the air-quality instruments started showing not-horrible numbers – but by then the doggie was grumpy and played-out from not playing at all, and hardly touched her dinner. This will repeat tomorrow.

Fire on the Mountain

This morning we awoke to clear skies after a southern, BayAryan, “Delta Effect” breeze blew through and cleared the air. Yesterday was thick an oppressive. Because fire.

Caldor Fire Cloud

And this is the fire-cloud, which loomed much larger this morning when we walked the dog, but flattened-down as time went on. This afternoon aircraft have been constantly flying overhead, inbound on the right of the picture, outbound on the left – C-130’s that carry water and DC-10’s with fire retardant – I don’t believe the fleet is very large. Grizzly Flat is about 20-miles away and has been evacuated, among other communities.

Here’s a link to the evacuation map: https://eldoradocounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=c995bf3816964e948d7d831d3ba938ff

Red Sun

Yesterday I had a Blogversary and I forgot all about it. In the past I celebrated the Mai-Tai, but since ‘Going Western’ I haven’t made one of those in years. Today is another day of low AQI in the smoke, but yesterday got measurably better as the day went on and at least things haven’t worsened.

Except where the FatBoy is concerned. After fiddling with the left (clutch side) handlebar switches and replacing the black caps with plastic chrome, that side no longer functions as a running-light. The turn indicators work (and the horn and high-low beam) but it’s not on as a running-light like the right (brake) side…


Cool and overcast, I slept-in till 6:20 not expecting the cloud-cover and 60-degree temps. The doggie barked excitedly to be let in, and jumped on the bed for the “Morning Meeting.” After greeting us she ran outside and picked up her toy, while a song that had been running through my head all night played again, Tears for Fears, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” WTH?

We walked the dog and the sun came up over the trees a faint red ball, and the whiff of wood-smoke is more pronounced, so during the night the wind must have shifted…


Got some weird weather this morning…wetness from the sky. The dog doesn’t mind being that it’s 68-degrees at 7:00AM as usual. Low 90’s today, low 100’s tomorrow. Not much smoke from the fires.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Yesterday afternoon forest-fire smoke from the Tamarack Fire blew over the hill and down the mountain, causing poor visibility and a pervasive wood-fire smell. Temps topped out in the high 90’s depending on location. I spent part of the day in the garage with the box fan blowing out, working on the Deluxe Auxiliary Lamp Kit I’m attempting to install on the Fat Boy.

Baby steps, I got the handlebar mounted turn signals removed and separated from the rear view mirrors… I already jumped ahead a couple steps and assembled the light-bar shell just to get a look at it, but there’s a bunch of wiring and a partial harness and the old headlight front panel to disentangle. It’s a bit more complicated than expected and I’m reluctant to just start cutting wires when the bike is an ’08 and the instructions say “2011 and later FLSTF.” My moto-wiring skills are being challenged when the instructions don’t include a why-for…

Lightning Clouds

A little cooler today, so just the mid-90’s – but it’s been very dry and warm throughout the night. The morning clouds are a bit unusual to see, but we are not surrounded by fire-smoke like last year. The doggie is enjoying her splash-pool and during the more extreme heat last week I added block-ice to keep her cool.

Mini Heatwave

Cool Pool

Yes it’s been a bit hot up here, but not as bad as the Pacific Northwest – and we haven’t had many fires…yet – or PG&E induced brownouts.

The last two weeks have been in the low 100’s or high 90’s, so I moved a second awning out onto the deck to deflect the direct sunlight, and shifted two umbrellas out beside the garage wall. There’s no real shade here otherwise and it’s usually mid-80’s before noon.

This morning when I got up at 5:30AM it was already 70-degrees, so we got an early start shopping at a local fruit-stand up in Camino, then breakfast at the Sportsman’s Hall at around 8:15AM.

This week is supposed to cool down a bit with temps just in the low 90’s…until the following week. We change the water in the doggie pool and sometimes add a bag of ice or block-ice, otherwise the cement slab in the garage acts a cooling pad – except when it doesn’t cool down overnight.