We were five then–Andrew hadn’t come to us yet–and that summer night as we slept in the Volkswagen camper, we suddenly awoke to noise. Someone–or something–was prowling around our camp site. Jerry scrambled out of bed, and I was close behind as he snatched up a flashlight, opened the camper door and pierced a beam into the black night.
There they were–raccoons–fat ones with their nimble fingers still around the 3-pound-coffee can into which I had placed the home made cookies–think they were oatmeal, but I can’t recall for sure. The little gezzers stared, Jerry stared back, then he started yelling and I think I yelled too, and finally the raccoons set down the cookie can and backed away. Strange thing, though, they did not quite retreat, but instead circled our camp–waiting, we supposed, until we would close the door, quit the infernal yelling so they could get on with their midnight repast.
One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, and a spot where we have taken more than one family vacation, is Big Sur. Highway 1 up the coast of California is unexcelled in raw splendor and natural appeal, and it is around Big Sur that many people believe the area to show its finest face.
We have stayed in a lodge there, but usually we camped in one of the several rigs we owned through the years.
All of us have swam in the frigid water, walked the trails through the redwoods, cooked many a marshmallow and a few hot dogs around evening camp fires there; we’ve told stories, took youngsters fishing, refereed arguments, taught lessons…and in general, stitched together a wondrous tapestry of family vacations at Big Sur.
Now the area is on fire, and the entire community of Big Sur has been ordered evacuated.
From the New York Times Dateline July 3
BIG SUR, Calif. – Facing a stubborn fire, California officials Wednesday ordered the evacuation of Big Sur as flames flared on nearby mountaintops and moved steadily toward this coastal retreat.
Firefighters have been attacking a fire near Big Sur for 11 days and had been helped in recent days by fog, moist conditions and lighter winds. Seventeen homes have been lost here – more than half the total destroyed statewide from the first major wildfires of the season – but many residents had been allowed to remain as the fire stayed to the east and south.
But overnight Tuesday the fire unexpectedly intensified, prompting mandatory evacuations of residents on both sides of Highway 1, the scenic coastal byway that runs through the Big Sur valley.
Statewide more than 19,000 firefighters and other workers have been fighting fires since June 20, when a line of storms and lightning sparked hundreds of blazes across the northern and central parts of the state. The blaze near Big Sur, known as the Basin Complex, is just one of some 1,100 currently burning in California, according to Cal Fire, the state fire agency
I’m praying for all the people in these areas and for our brave fire-fighters.
(These are all file pictures.)
EDIT/UPDATE: Adam Housle of Fox News is maintaining an update on the situation in Big Sur. At the link I have supplied, is a video explaining “cutting-edge” fire fighting equipment and sensors. Check it out.
My devotional blog is here.