Travel Day, Smoke and Fires

Yesterday was a “Travel Day” on the schedule so we “traveled”.  It’s good to do what the schedule says.  We went some 440 miles from Cody, Wyoming to Fort Collins, Colorado. About a seven hour drive, which took about eight with the horses. 

It was a smoky drive the whole way down from Cody and is here too in Northern Colorado from the fires in Canada.  Way, way too early for fires and I don’t care for the trend.

Fires are a normal summer occurrence in my home area of the Rockies as we are literally surrounded by state and national forests…but normally fire season doesn’t start till mid-August.  The horrible, non-stop, abnormal heat and early drought conditions that have been going on back there hasn’t helped and I believe it started with the lack of snow pack in the mountains this past year and continued through the Spring with little to NO rain.  We had a feeling it was going to be a scary fire danger year. And it is. 


As of last night, we have four fires burning in the area of my home town.  The one to the north (50 acres) and the two to the west (about an acre or so) were lightening induced.  The one to the south, they aren’t saying yet how it started.  The southern one (pictured above and below) began Sunday and is a zero contained 2000 acre wild fire at the southern end of our lake.  That’s about 10 miles southeast as the crow flies from my sisters place. She left me a message late yesterday telling me I had my nerve not being around to help load two unwilling horses into a trailer…She was helping a friend evacuate in the southern fire.  Ugh.  Not fun having to abandon your home.  I can hardly imagine it.


Well, it could be my up-bringing  with its corresponding location or could be I love all the seasons “just because”, but one thing is certain:  This is one of the main reasons I love snow when it’s supposed to snow {a.k.a., Winter} and rain when it’s supposed to rain {a.k.a., Spring}.


The National Weather Service indicates  winds increasing and thunderstorms possible late today and into tonight.  That essentially translates more to lightening strikes and less to any real rain.  But one can hope and pray they get some real water amounts and cooler temps soon.  I know it seems crazy as so many of you in other parts of the country are getting way TOO much water.

Please, if you would, take a moment to send a prayer towards the Idaho Panhandle.  I know many, many people would greatly appreciate it.


So, enough of the fire/weather drama.  We’re at the West Coast Budweiser Clydesdales home base here in Fort Collins, right on the grounds where the brewery sits.


Though it’s nothing like the set up in Saint Louis, they have a beautiful kinda Western-ish style (don’t think ‘cowboy’, it’s not like that) horse barn complete with Biergarten and gift shop.


There’s tours here too if you guys are ever out this way. 


The hitch will be here for two weeks doing a couple one-horse appearances and will hitch up all eight for a local Habitat For Humanity function.  After that it’s off to the 75th Sturgis Bike Rally Anniversary in South Dakota.  

WCH FtCollins

Me?  Oh no.  I’m happily headed home to what may still be smoky Northern Idaho for a few weeks, gladly missing all that insanity.  I’d much rather deal with wild fires and smoke than wild, party-till-the-sun-comes-up bikers.  I’ll catch back up with the crew in Billings, Montana for the state fair!

Party-Pooper in Colorado,



11 thoughts on “Travel Day, Smoke and Fires

  1. I can’t imagine having to deal with those wildfires…evacuating your home, not knowing if you’ll ever return to it in its current state. Lightning struck a house two streets from us Sunday evening, and the house is a total loss. Thankfully no injuries, but we feel so bad for the family.


  2. I agree – it’s tough to imagine having to walk away from your home and hope and pray you can come BACK to it……wild fires are frightening – ANY fire is (other than in your own fireplace!) but they ARE “wild” and the unknown factor is scary. I hope and pray that relief comes soon – rain, rain and more rain…….and I also pray that next year the weather is more “normal” because it sure has NOT been so far this year! Take care – I hope your sister’s place is alright too……………… Sending HUGS…..and hope for RAIN………….

    Love, Pam (and Sam)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prayers on the way ~d to the Idaho panhandle. I wish I could send you all of our rain. Prayers extended to all who are fighting wildfires in the drought areas. Hope all is okay at your sister’s.
    Home base looks very comfortable and I love the pictures of the Biergarten. Lovely with the lights, umbrellas, and pretty flowers. It does look a bit like St. Lou. I am not a beer drinker but the FOOD is great! I love the outside dining atmosphere. Not that I don’t like a beautiful Harley, but I would be passing on that too and looking forward to the state fair!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pam.
      So far so good at my sisters place. I can’t wait to get home if for nothing else other than to provide moral support.
      Home base is good and we hope by Friday we can see the Front Range again. Even though it’s been cloudy cloudy and rainy here it’s *still so thick with smoke that it blocks out the mountains.
      Have a great day.


  4. Be safe as you travel…we lived in the foothills above Denver for about 13 years (Evergreen/Golden) and I know what fire danger in the dry west is like! Prayers for Idaho and all the dry regions this summer! ~ Sheila

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shelia. That Golden area is real pretty. Just came through there on Sunday on my way back from a weekend in Snowmass/Aspen.
      Fire stinks…but t is the nature of things, unless of course it’s human caused….then that kinda of ticks folks off. ;)


  5. The Canada fires are really bad, and Mom is on Oxygen and shut inside trying to breathe. I know you’ve had them in your neck-o-the-woods, too … **shudder**. We’ve had so much rain here in MI that my family always says the same thing, “Send it our way!”

    No matter where you are, I always love your pictures and especially those grand, gorgeous horses! MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous photos! And wildfires are scary, I imagine it’s hard to rest easily knowing what is going on in your area. We had some of Canada’s smoke for a while and I stayed inside for a few days to avoid headaches. We’ve been getting great rain but we never know how long it will last. Hoping you guys get some moisture and that everyone stays safe.

    Love the new blog format, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. If it were to have gotten worse I would’ve gone home to help evacuate or something.
      Hope the smoke has cleared there for you guys. It’s much better over here in Colorado on the front range. When the smoke gets real bad as it used to during fire season growing up I remember most not being able to take deep breaths when we were literally running around outside. It hurt my upper chest in short order.
      All I can say is I hope this isn’t the new normal. Fire season is supposed to begin in mid to late August, not June. 😕
      Be well!


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