What can anyone say? We are all speechless, what just happened with the Waldo Canyon Fire is beyond comprehension, regardless of our belief systems or any other thing that may divide or unite us from one another.
I was in flight to Eugene Oregon as the fire erupted, so for 4 days the whole thing was in my peripheral vision. I checked the internet daily to check the fires status between my visits with the relatives in Oregon, watching the Olympic track an field trials, and enjoying group runs from Eugene Running Company along Prefontaines trail in Eugene in the clean, rainy air.. On the 5th day, Tuesday June 26, next thing I knew we were on the phone with our college-aged daughther, who was looking after our Rockrimmon home, telling her what to pack from our beloved belongings and coaching her through what had become a mandatory evacuation of our home and neighborhood.
This week since the fire has been stressful, to say the least. I bounced from one home to another, and quickly learned why they made such a big deal about the impact this fire had on the community. It was most certainly hard on those being evacuated and we appreciated any kind heart that might take us in, even a pet, anything, as we sweated it out. Did we have a home to return to or not? Well, ended up we, personally, did have a home to return home to, but that was only the beginning of this ordeal, as I had guessed. I watered my plants. I put out water and apples for a few skinny deer that wandered into my area, a mile from the fire, that looked at me with helpless eyes. I found out which of our neighbors houses burned down and which ones did not. I got my work and family stuff in a pile. And then came running. I longed for my running groups, which are really not that much about running when it really comes down to it. They are about being in nature, seeing my friends, having a safe refuge to regain/ maintain my sanity. And now? Those gone as well? What? No 4th of July race? No incline club? No Barr camp Race? Right when I needed this the most, gone? They said the air quality was poor, that the resourses of the community were drained. I respect that. But still, I went out in it, curious, perferring to be out than on some treadmill. My runs, some with the dog, some with friends, some alone, were pretty much shit. My exercise physiologist friend said running in this stuff is like becoming a smoker overnight. Oh well......
I, for one, am happy that one race is still happening, the Summer Roundup. It has lifted my sad heart a little knowing the event is happening this weeked, even though it may feel less like meeting my running friends on the trail and more like meeting them in a bar. But I don't care right now. I just want to feel like the world is not coming to an end, and even if it was, I would probably pick going out on the trails anyway.
So.... Thank you, Summer Roundup, for having your run, for finding a way, to bring our outdoor commumity together in a time when we need each other the most.