A Change in the Weather – Snow in the Highlands

We took a trip to Wauconda this morning to take some photos for a Seattle newpaper and on the way home we decided to go through Bonaparte, Lost Lake, then up Havillah Road to home in Oroville. Along the way we noted a light dusting of snow on the hill tops. Too soon!!

Snow On Bonaparte
Snow On Bonaparte

And a quick stop at Lost Lake – it was darn chilly at 34º. We made it a really quick stop.

Lost Lake, Okanogan Highlands
Lost Lake, Okanogan Highlands

We also passed another dusting of snow on a roadside cut just 10′ off Havillah Road at Hungry Hollow Road. Might have to dig out the cross-country skis sooner than I thought!

It was such a nice day we decided a quick detour up Nine Mile Road was needed – good choice! There’s no time of the year this isn’t the most beautiful place on Earth.

Oroville And Cascades Beyond
Oroville And Cascades Beyond

Tragic Airplane Crash Starts Fire in the Highlands

An airplane crash (source: nwcn.com) that killed at least one person has ignited a fast-growing fire in the Okanogan Highlands. Aircraft are actively suppressing the fire but winds are hampering their efforts. Images seen from City Park in Oroville show the state of the blaze at the time of this story. Developing…

Update: It has not been established that this aircraft crash is related to the fires. Details to follow.
Update: The Omak Chronicle reports two victims in the aircraft crash and that it had just departed the Dorothy Scott airfield in Oroville.
Final update: InciWeb site is reporting what we suspected after an on-site visit – the aircraft that crashed did not cause the larger fires that ravaged the North Okanogan. http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4517/

5:30am, Aug 14
Thunder and lightning are pummeling the north valley this morning, and smoke hangs heavy in the area northeast of Oroville. The scars from the fires became evident even before the sun lifted over the far range. So often with natural disasters there is beauty to be found. The photos are quite large and may be slow to download. Click them to see a larger view.

Sunrise over the scorched north valley
Sunrise over the scorched north Okanogan
Blazing colors in the sky
Blazing colors in the sky

12:15am, Aug 14
An insidious wave of fire is crawling like a sidewinder snake down the hillside north of the Oroville-Chesaw road and it looks like this fire will burn through the night. This is well past being a horror story for the families living on Nine-Mile and the surrounding area. It is a terrible and helpless feeling to watch this fire wash over the homes of our friends.

North and East of Eder Mountain
North and East of Eder Mountain

5:30pm Update:
Homes spared by the inferno gleam like gems in a blackened void. This has been a sad thing to watch. A lone helicopter has been making runs with suppression water throughout the day. Out of sight from us there are surely many more fire fighters battling this thing. How do you thank these people for what they do? Words fail me.

Chesaw Road Fire
Chesaw Road Fire – click the image to see a full-size version

Life Goes On

Last week I made a hurried trip to the East Bay region of California to visit with my elderly father. We had several days to visit and long hours of talking, laughing, and memories. I brought along an ukulele along and played for him and other residents of the hospice which was a lot of fun. Just days after I returned home Dad lost his fight with time.

Thanks to everyone whose thoughts and sympathy were shared with us – it is very much appreciated and helps us to get on with life.