Monthly Archives: June 2012
After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own. I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week. No recycling. I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots. Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.
I was driving home late one night last week when I spotted an intense storm going on to the east of where I live. I had all of my camera gear in the car, so I decided to take a detour into Chatfield State Park and see if I could get some shots from up on the dam looking over the city. I was up there for a little while when a park ranger drove by and asked me to leave. Apparently the only allowed activities after 10pm are fishing and boating. Bah.
I packed up and headed towards home, but the storm seemed to be getting more active so I set up in another location about a half mile from my house looking over my daughter’s elementary school. It ended up being a more interesting setup than Chatfield, anyway. I stayed there for about half an hour capturing some awesome cloud-to-cloud lightning activity in the distance.
As my wife was driving home Sunday afternoon, she spotted what appeared to be smoke behind a ridge near our house. It was a very hot day, and there were scattered summer-time clouds around, so it was hard to tell if it was really smoke or just a low-lying cloud. She called 911 to report it, and was told that there hadn’t been any other calls about it.
Malcolm and I loaded up the camera, binoculars, and made a quick stop for fuel before going to check it out. Once we got far enough away from the mountains to see it well, we couldn’t decide for sure whether it was smoke or a cloud. We headed back into the mountains to get a closer look.
We headed in the direction of Indian Creek and Rampart Range Road thinking we’d get a good look at it from there. No dice, so we continued down to the South Platte and towards Deckers. Still couldn’t get a good read on what was going on.
We pressed onward thinking it would be just a couple miles south of Deckers. Nope.
After a while we were traveling through the burned out area from the Hayman Fire in 2002 (Colorado’s largest recorded fire @ 138,000 acres).
We could at least tell that it was smoke now, but didn’t seem to be getting any closer. It was like chasing the end of a rainbow.
We made a stop in Woodland Park to grab some food and pull up a map to see what our options were. We headed west.
It looked like an entire mountain was being consumed.
We got to the closest access point just as the media people were getting set up after over 90 minutes of drive time. My wife had spotted and called on a fire that was over 50 miles and 3 counties away as the crow flies!
Soon after that, the first of the bucket-toting heli’s made an appearance.
For a minute, I thought these pelicans might scoop up some water and help out, too.
Several homes and cabins were being threatened.
At one point, a slurry bomber banked hard and headed right for us. I wondered if it would dump its load where we were standing. Malcolm said, “Prepare to be retarded.” The surroundings were grim, but I gotta say that cracked me up.
We watched for a couple of hours while a total of 4 heavy tankers, a few single-engine tankers, and 3 helicopters did their best to contain the blaze.
While it was sad to see the forest burning, it was neat to have a front-row view of the firefighting operations.
As my uncle once told me, “Life is what happens when you had other plans.”
I’m glad to have this week behind me. The running was not so great and then my daughter got very ill and ended up in the hospital for a few days. Thankfully, she is doing better now and got to come home yesterday. I withdrew from the Black Hills 100 miler I was going to run this weekend, I need to stay a little closer to home after all that has gone on lately.
Tough-ish run. Still dealing with Saturday’s calf carnage. Had to stop 3-4x and let them settle down.
Also did a fast walk in the evening.
Went up to the state park last night and saw another bear. Two for two in the last week.
Same route as yesterday. Rough for the first 4 miles, then the calves finally started to relent. Finished up feeling almost optimistic about things.
Did an evening walk with the camera on the east side of Chatfield. A different kind of ‘training’.
Easy run at the Boneyard. Felt like crap.
Went for another hike in the state park. No bears this time.
Boneyard again. Rolling a little stronger today. Had to cut this one short to meet my wife and daughter at the ER.
It was a Happy Father’s Day, we got to bring our daughter home from the hospital.
My teenage son posted this – guess I am doing a few things right:
Happy Father’s Day to the best dad in the entire world, Chris Boyack! Thanks for all the hard work that you have done and continue to do in order to make our family a happy one. We have done so many (choose one) incredible/fun/hard/maybe a little stupid/memorable things that I will never forget. I know I don’t say it nearly as much as I need to, but Dad, I’m really glad that you are my Dad.
Total: 29 miles / 4:37