Well, as you could tell from the guest-written entry, we made it safely to SD and spent one night at my parents’ house with my brother and his three kids there. It was fun and noisy to get to see them and I am looking forward to seeing them again when I go to Iowa for the State Fair in a week and a half. (Did I mention that yet? Probably not, since I haven’t been blogging much – I found a cheap plane ticket that only required me to miss one day of work and I am FINALLY going to go to the Iowa State Fair, home to much food on a stick? More on THOSE plans later.)
We saw them off the next morning and then went into Rapid City to meet Ken’s sister and her husband and their two kids for lunch and then go to Storybook Island. The kids had never been to Storybook Island so they thought that was pretty fun. Unfortunately it was unbelieveably hot (well, typical for this summer), and so most of the slides were too hot for them to go down, but they enjoyed everything else. Then we met my high school friend, B. for dinner, it was really great to see him after 25 years! We had found each other through email and Facebook but it isn’t the same. The first get-together for my class was at Murphy’s bar downtown – it was great to see a few more people from the class, many of whom I did not know because we did have 367 people in my class. We always complained about cliques back then but I guess with that many people it is a structure that naturally forms.
We could see some storms rolling through town, there was a little rain (not enough to drive us in from the patio of the bar) and we could see lightning out east, so I hoped my parents were getting rain, not lightning, because it has been so dry this summer.
We didn’t stay too late at the bar, knowing that we had an hour drive home. We went home using the “Farmingdale” route (there are basically two ways home to the ranch from Rapid City, and they are pretty much the same mileage.) Once we got to the spot where our land meets the road on the Farmingdale gravel, (and Ken is trained to recognize this spot, because I quiz him about it every time), we saw fire trucks. We passed one truck which was extinguishing fence posts. Ken said, “Isn’t this your place?” but I didn’t think so, because we had come a little way south. Turns out, it was our place.
Further south, we came across another fire crew, and I could see these were people I knew from the community, so we got out and talked (and I checked to see if my Dad was among them). They said there were probably a dozen fires in the neighborhood that night, and that it was very fortunate it rained about .06 of an inch just as the fires were really getting going, since it was so hot, dry and windy. The rain really helped put things out, and probably prevented thousands of acres from burning. They thought my Dad was probably still out north on our land, checking burning fence posts.
So we continued on our way home, but then we stopped at the fire hall, because it appeared that the whole community was there. Dad was not back yet, but as we stood and visited with people and heard fire stories, he did eventually arrive. We headed on home to see how Mom was doing and then waited up until Dad got home to hear more fire stories, so it was a late night. Mom told us about how she had been on the phone with a neighbor who was reporting a fire at his place, and she was looking out our north window and could see a fire starting from a lightning strike. My Dad said he originally thought he could go out there and put that one out with the water sprayer on the ATV, but then he decided he would have had to have been right on the spot when the lightning struck, because the fire took off so fast.
Here is a picture of that one, more stories of Dad and I going out and surveying the fire tomorrow and many more pictures.
This is about ½ to ¾ of a mile from our house, fortunately the wind was blowing it AWAY from the house and ranch buildings.