Tuesday August 25, 2020
El Granada to Coldwater Creek
On Sunday August 16 a dry lightning storm started hundreds of fires across California including a few on the peninsula.
Two days later the CZU complex fire exploded, threatening the entire city of Santa Cruz at one point.
Hellish smoke covered much of the western United States.
Northwest winds kept smoke away from Half Moon Bay for a few days, but that didn't last long.
We assumed for several days that we would not go on our planned vacation to Mammoth Lakes starting Saturday August 22.
I finally determined that I could adjust our reservation start dates
one day at a time as long as I did so at least 24 hours in advance.
I pushed the start back to Sunday, then Monday.
By Saturday August 22 the CZU fire seemed to be more or less contained, or at least it appeared it wouldn't burn our house down.
However the weather forecasters warned of another dry lightning event for Sunday through Tuesday.
Sunday morning August 23 passed with almost no dry lightning.
I decided I was going to Mammoth Lakes on Tuesday August 25 if at all possible.
Everyone else thought I was crazy, the smoke everywhere was awful.
Monday morning the smoke was much improved at Mammoth Lakes for the first time in days.
I was psyched!
I still could not talk anyone else into coming with me...
I had planned to backpack part of the JMT starting Sunday August 30.
If I went alone, I would not be able to bring my bike - I would not leave it behind in a car.
Silver lining - I took my Celica instead.