All of Northern California and Southern Oregon seemed on fire as we headed north out of Redding on our way to the Running Y Resort at Klamath Falls for a week’s vacation with our kids and grandkids two weeks ago.
Our planned route was to turn off I-5 and head northeast on Highway 97 once we got to Mt. Shasta. But lightning-caused wild land fires to the west, north and east of us required a change in plans. The air was thick with brownish yellow smoke.
Our daughter, Lisa, her husband Jan, and five of our grandchildren were an hour ahead of us. Jan sent a text message that they were in blocked traffic on Highway 97, 15 miles east of Weed due to a major fire. They had to turn around and head back to Weed. Meanwhile, Dottie and I in one car, and son Chris and daughter-in-law, Jennifer, and two more of our grandkids just behind us in another car, got Jan’s report and stayed on I-5.
By a circuitous route that took us up to Medford and then across the Cascades north of the fires, we all made it to Running Y (in about eight hours instead of the usual five-and-a-half).
I rented two three-bedroom chalets for our family group of 15, including our son Ryan and daughter-in-law Rachel, who drove down from Portland. The accommodations were excellent and we had lake views from our spacious decks. Most of the smoke stayed south of us.