Into the burn.

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into the burn 16

 

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Yesterday we went into the burn.

Down Box Canyon, along and on top of the Rio Grande, from the River Hill Camp Ground all the way through the Box to the road on the lower side of mountain where the hills are speckled by vacant subdivisions and within sight of a paved road, though we saw no signs of so-called civilized life stirring. That’s not what we were searching for. Though I sincerely thank our dear friends and summer neighbors for helping make this possible by bringing our truck down the mountain so we could get back up. What a welcome site that was to see rattling down the road towards us when we made it through.

Eight hours, about as many miles and it seemed like we each hauled that many pounds of food just to keep us going.  My husband, my son, my dog and me.

Today I’ll share only my photos, not my words.  I hope the images speak for themselves, each to all in a different way, but words of truth. These images are completely untouched, only reduced in size to share with you.

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into the burn 17

 

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in the burn 3

 

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in the burn 12

 

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in the burn

 

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looking back up box

 

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from box canyon trail

 

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from our mailbox

 

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littel squaw

 

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on road home

 

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in the burn 2

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6 thoughts on “Into the burn.

  1. Your photos bring a singular beauty to the devastation. There is also the unique historical documentation piece your trip contributes. As nature regenerates, these pictures will remain testimonials to the stark reality of what fire does to our world.

  2. I have goosebumps, the kind that make your hair stand up on your neck. Gorgeous photos of such stark sadness. Thank you for sharing, for venturing to such a place that I am sure brought sadness and maybe even some despair in moments. As each person reads and scrolls through your telling photographs, we are all giving this scarred place “a moment of silence”, I am so grateful to do so.

  3. I’m trying to find beauty in it but right now it only brings floods of tears and brings me back to the day the road opened and I drove in. I will never forget the smell of what reminded me of a freshly doused campfire, it was sickening. I hope you don’t mind but I’d like to share something I shared on Facebook a few days later:

    “My journey into the Papoose Fire Forest
    If you will, I want to share my feelings and thoughts as I made my journey through the wildfire area. In Del Norte I began seeing “thank you firefighters” signs and had a hard time holding it together the rest of the way. From South Fork to Creede, the mountain itself protected me from seeing the death and destruction I knew was just on the other side. After passing through Creede I began to see the first physical signs of the fire…blackness and death but that didn’t faze me as much as the “tent town” I came upon and I cried knowing these brave firefighters work so hard and risk their lives just to come “home” and sleep in a tent. Continuing along Hwy 149 I was shocked at how close the fire got to some of the homes. How did they stop that monster–Amazing! USFS Road 520 was the hardest for me and at the same time it was weird because in places there were green aspen trees surrounded by charred trees, Wildfire is a mysterious creature to me. When I reached River Hill (a once breathtakingly beautiful canyon), the only thing that was the same was the Mighty Rio Grande. I rolled down my window to take it all in and it is here that I totally lost it because it was raining and all I could smell was a wet campfire. I guess, really, that’s what it is now. Even in the midst of all the charred blackness and death, though, I would hear an occasional bird, and this made me smile. When I reached the Rio Grande Reservoir, everything was as I know it. And even though most of the Spruce Trees no longer have a song to sing because they have been ravaged by beetles, the Aspen were singing a glorious song in the breeze. At that moment, beetle-kill brown against bright green aspen never looked so beautiful.”

  4. My lack of response to your comments is not lack of caring, I promise you, simply that I want you each to think and feel for yourself, without my interference. That’s why I shared the photos. (And because Wendy asked if I would when I mentioned I was doing this and I realized the importance of us all seeing as if for ourselves.) This is personal, means something different to each of us. I will share my thoughts soon. I am still soaking, gathering, and appreciate you sharing yours in the meanwhile… Please keep sharing.

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