Words Cannot Describe

Yesterday morning, we headed south again for the Monterey County Fairgrounds in order to make the return trip home. We have been on this road trip for a month now with our daughter Lara and sweet cat, Callie, and for the most part, we have all had a wonderland time. The places we have visited and explored have been beautiful and the experience, priceless. Having our daughter join us this time has been a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I will always be grateful to her for joining us. Hanging out with her parents can’t always have been easy for her. She is a joy to be around though.

And the truth has come out about Callie! Callie loves Lara! I think Lara just might be her favorite human of all time, even though she still has to depend on me for daily walks, brushing, cleaning up after her and food. But Lara has definitely become Callie’s desired bedtime companion and slave in the middle of the night on this trip! I sleep up in the loft and am way up against the wall and Michael sleeps on the edge of the loft which bars me from easy access to getting down on the ladder. So it is Lara that is below on the ground floor bedroom that has to cater to Callie’s nighttime desire for snacks, petting, and playtime! Lucky for Lara! Smile.

Last night, due to the steroids that Callie is taking for her cough; her cough has returned because the smoke from the fires has irritated her lungs. She decided to play rough and tumble in the middle of the night, and she takes out her excess energy on the wool rug that rests on the couch. She drags the rug up into a tight embrace with her front paws and kicks and bites the hell out of it with her back paws. It is so funny to watch her try to destroy the rugby attempting to disembowel it! It also means that Callie is interrupting Lara’s sleep! Too bad! This also reminds me once again that I really must pack some toys along next time we take a trip so that Callie has something to play with besides iPhone power chords and rugs!

But on a more somber note, and one that words cannot describe, we had to drive through Santa Rosa and Petaluma again and are further horrified at the sheer devastation the fire has inflicted on this beautiful area of vineyards, oak trees, golden grasslands, people, wildlife, horses, pets, and cattle. The fire actually jumped over the 101 freeway and guard rails were still smoking as we passed on through so somberly. Thank goodness the fires are moderately contained today, which is a Saturday, and because the winds did not pick up as was thought, my friend did not have to evacuate! Catherine, who lives in Petaluma, was told to pack up her essentials just in case the winds shifted and an evacuation order was put into place.

Fortunately, it looks like the winds have died down over the weekend. The fires may have been caused by downed PG&E power lines that weren’t able to withstand powerful winds- these winds, with gusts of upwards of 45-75 mph, were not hurricane force winds though, and this is a wind strength that PG&E claims their lines should have been able to endure. Weather reports indicate that they were not, in fact, hurricane force winds when the lines fell down! In their defense, they may use the old excuse of – ACT OF GOD and this may prevent them from being held accountable. I hate big businesses that are too big to fail and that are above the law and just plain, common, decency!

Reading the harrowing stories of people that jumped in their swimming pool to ward off the searing heat and flames that consumed their house, and the family whose 14 years old did not make it out alive is heartbreaking. We spent the night at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds in July and have read that it is now an evacuation safe zone for evacuees with their pets, including horses, sheep, llamas, etc. What a tragedy and one that is difficult to wrap my head around. The hills are scorched and many buildings have been burned down to the ground. Some of the residents that we saw while passing through town were wearing masks and the skies are still filled with heavy, acrid, dark smoke. The stench of everything that was burned fills the air and it is difficult to breathe!

It is one of the worst fires in California history, and with 17 fires burning out of control at one time, one of the largest. We are so appreciative that the fires are almost under control and that hopefully Santa Rosa can rebuild. California went through a 10 year plus drought and with heavy rains during the winter months, grass and brush proliferated and grew abundant during the spring. These were ripe conditions for a wildfire when the long, hot summer, dried them out! The entire coast looks like it could go up in flames too. I love California and can only hope for the best.

As we head back home to the desert, I will think fondly of this RV trip with my family. It was a once in a lifetime event and we had such a fabulous time together. I will count my blessings and I am so appreciative that I was able to write down my thoughts and take photographs of the places we visited and that I have readers like you who are taking the time to read my blog. Thank you all so much! It has been quite the experience and as I get older, my memory isn’t what it use to be. So keeping a diary of sorts of my travels with Callie will help me to remember what I did, and where I went, for many years to come. I am hoping to turn these musings into a book when all is said and done! So, once again- thank you all for taking the time to read my travels with Callie adventures. It certainly has been quite the adventure!