Sunday, July 22, 2012

The new "normal"...

So, the Pike's Peak area is slowly returning to a new "normal". The fire is 100% contained thanks to the hard work of 1400+ firefighters (THANK YOU!!). Areas inside the containment area will continue to burn until the first freeze.

I was able to come home from vacation up Hwy 24 (which was closed nearly the entire time) to a home with no damage. In fact, everybody I know has returned to their homes. But the degree of separation between me and somebody who lost their home is ONE. Four families in my Mom's church lost homes. One of my stamping buddies, Joanna, knows 6 families. (Read her blog entry (Joanna / Sitting on Pens and Needles), about her evacuation from fire storm that night.)

The area now moves to rebuilding and restoring.  Neither will happen fast.   Everyday there is a reminder - either driving into or out of Colorado Springs.  The view is forever altered.  Yesterday, I was sitting at a light and a semi truck drove out of the Mountain Shadows burn area carrying 3 burnt out cars...just bare metal.

The following pictures are what I see daily.

Ironically, this Smokey sign is at the parking lot of the Waldo Canyon trail head. Everything around Smokey burned. But the sign was untouched.

A few yards from Smokey is the trail head.  Before the fire, I didn't know there was a rock formation there.
I took this picture this spring because the blooming yucca were so pretty.   This picture is actually the same shot as the rocky outcropping (above) at the Waldo Canyon trail head.  It's sad that those yucca won't bloom again.

I took this picture of the trail head parking lot the day the fire started.  Smoky would be just behind the blue truck on the far left.  The yucca are on the dirt area above the trucks.

The fire didn't burn everything.  Here the trees in the background are still green and untouched.  The trees in the foreground are burnt.  The fire doesn't always take all the just looks dried out.  The traffic cones mark an area that could be subject to flash flood or mudslide.

Now that the undergrowth is gone, we face a new danger.  That of mudslides and flash floods.  A week after the fire was contained, we had heavy rains.  In the center of this picture is the hole (just under the tree) left by the resulting mudslide.  For SUV would fit in the hole.

This is Cascade, Colorado. Here you can see that the fire burnt nearly the entire hill side. Amazingly, the firefighters managed to keep all the houses safe in this town.

This photo is the area over Mountain Shadows (were 354 homes were lost).  You can tell the burnt area from the untouched areas.

This is Cascade.  But everywhere you look there are 100's of signs thanking the firemen and first responders for saving what they did.  They really did make heroic efforts to save what they did.  We are all eternally grateful for their hard work.

So, I will return to my regular topics. I have lots of crafty stuff to share with you (it's been a while, huh?).  AND the building permit for the basement should be approved this week.  YEAH!!

OH!!  ONE MORE THING!   Please, please come visit us in the Pike's Peak area.  While I've shown you all the ugly parts, there are still LOTS and LOTS of  BEAUTIFUL views.  There's lots to DO and SEE.  All the major attractions are untouched, with the one exception - the Flying W Ranch.  We still have lots of hiking trials and camping areas available.  We need you!


  1. Great post Deb!!!!! So glad your home is okay, it's just been a heartbreaking month in Colorado :-(. That said it's still the most gorgeous place ever!!!! Love it here.

  2. Have you seen this video yet?

    It made me cry a bit but I am soo in awe of the awesome job that the firefighters did saving Colorado. We don't pay those heroes enough.

  3. I am also glad your home is safe. It has been so sad watching all that beautiful area burn but am so grateful Joanna and you still have your homes. It is still my favorite place to visit. I love Colorado.

  4. Deb, i´m glad that your home is safe- like Joanna´s. Thanks for sharing the pictures. AND be sure sometimes i will come to visit Colorada Springs- it must be beautiful !

  5. Glad you are safe. Thanks for sharing these pics.

  6. Really happy all is well with your Debs but so sad for all those who lost their homes.

    Hugs Shirley x x