It was my on-call rotation all last week.
So no outdoor time.
Just as well.
Due to all the fires in the northwest, there was an advisory in Colorado to be careful due to all the smoke.
Ten miles distance from Boulder proper, I could not make out the foothills in any detail. The high country I normally see was non-existent in terms of the view.
By Saturday, the smoke was even worse.
The view below is from our small deck to the foothills a few miles from our home.
I’m afraid these fires, and the results we are seeing, are the new normal. Though Colorado was lucky this year, most of the American West has been seeing drought. And Colorado may not be so lucky in the future.
The impacts go beyond what stoves are allowed or even trail closures.
The experience of backpacking in the American West will change rapidly.
I don’t have a Magic Eight Ball; I can’t tell you what are the definitive changes in the years ahead.
I can only guess.
Perhaps more lands closed, ecosystems changed a bit, a less definitive window of hiking and so on.
What I do know is that looking out from my deck, I caught a small glimpse of the years ahead.