Had to pack a bag and get the hell outta Dodge. The Angeles National Forest has been burning for days, and the air in Glendale is hardly fit to breathe.
Last Wednesday, I flew back to California coping with the tail end of a cold. I still haven’t shaken that cold yet. It hurts to swallow, my sinuses are stuffed, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since I got back. The air was scraping my eyeballs, and I’ve been coughing up disgusting slime.
So I broke towards the ocean. Hoping a couple days in Santa Monica can clear my respiratory system up.
I feel better already. I stood on a bluff as a cool breeze rolled in off the Pacific, and congratulated myself for good thinking.
Then I turned 180 degrees and faced east... and saw a mushroom cloud hanging over some far-distant mountains.
This is called a pyrocumulus cloud; sometimes a forest fire creates its own weather like that. Trip part is... that’s not even the fire I fled from! That’s a different out-of-control wildfire... in the San Bernardino National Forest.
UPDATE (08/31/09): Okay, this is bizarre. I’m right near the ocean. It’s sunset. I stick my head out the hotel window, looking east. I can see the San Bernardino Mountains, gotta be more than 75 miles away.
And I can see the flames from here!