Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Acknowledge the fire, but dwell on the green.

As so many people know, a large portion of the San Francisco Peaks burned over the past week due to an abandoned campfire. I took my own pictures of the smoke and the now blackened mountainside, but I'm not going to post them here, because you can find any number of pictures and videos on the Googles, most of which are better than mine.

I was just up there the weekend before the fire started, which makes it a little surreal for me, especially since a couple of the pictures I took were aimed right at the burn area, and some were taken inside the burn area. I have mixed feelings about riding on Waterline Road now, because I do want to see for myself how much the area has changed. However, at the same time, the last ride I went on, everything was so green and beautiful, and I'd kind of like to keep that image in my mind, instead of the charred skeletal trees that will persist for the next 50 years.

But, it's important to keep in mind that the area will eventually recover. Forest fires happen, and with as overgrown as the Schultz Pass area was, a wildfire like this was more or less inevitable. In a couple years, there will be thick green ground cover, and in 10 years, young trees, and so on. I'll try to picture that until it happens.

However bad the Schultz Fire is, and however long it takes the area to recover, there are still plenty of green places around Flagstaff. When the fire pictures get you down, keep that in mind.

Pictures from Soldier's Loop and Highland Trails.

Keep an eye on your fires, everyone.
Mileage: 21.5

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