As you've probably heard if you are an Earthican, Southern California is currently vaporizing. I was actually away in Chicago this weekend when it all went down. We flew in this afternoon, while half of the state was disabled, and people were being evacuated left and right. In our quest to learn which parts of the freeway would actually operate, we ended up getting directed to a refugee shelter in the airport. We could've spent the day and the night right there, with free snacks and blankets and pillows, but from what I heard, not necessarily a cot. There were only about five people there at that time. And a drug-sniffing dog (not sniffing for drugs, just hanging out and whining to go outside). Instead we spent about half an hour there watching the news and looking up google maps (free wifi in the airport!). We finally decided on a route we could probably use to get to our house. Our house was not in the line of fire, thankfully. Still, we didn't have any proof that all the roads involved would be open, but we gave it a shot!
It took 3 hours, and it really felt like the end of the world. Only a couple of times we saw fire burning off on the hilltops in the distance, but driving out there in the gathering dark, into a wilderness we didn't recognize, with the radio droning on about evacuations and shelters... it felt like we were driving to our bomb shelter after WW3 (which is probably a bit late to be heading for a bomb shelter). We ran across (but not into) one roadblock along our way - we chose our route well! Just skirting the blocked roads, we swept around the endangered zones for 3 hours and ended up at home. It was a long trip, but a great relief to get home to our happy and healthy animals, and not see any fire or even smoke in sight (well, it was night time). Let's just hope the winds don't turn things around and bring it all back here.
There is still concern to be had - my parents' house, and my cousin's house, are both in areas that have been evacuated. So we don't know how those houses are doing. The people who occupy them are safely out, though.
What a weird day.