November 17th, 2008 – by: Hummingbird
Starting down towards Santa Clarita the smoke was very evident.
Sunday morning was a special day for us. Today was the meetup at Griffith Park, Los Angeles. It started pretty well. We had purchased a couple of large sub sandwiches and a salad at the grocery store the day before and made sure they included all the things we like in our sandwiches. The cokes were cold, the plates and napkins were packed and the car was full of gas. The camera, with fresh batteries, GPS, hats, and everything else we could think of was packed.
Off we went. We had checked with the CHP to make sure the road was open through the brush fires of southern California. Two of the three huge grass fires that are burning with the help of 60 to 75 mph winds blowing westerly and known as “Santa Ana” winds were right along the freeway we had to take to get from the valley where we live to the Los Angeles area.
Smoke from the fires was heavy.
As we neared the Santa Clarita area we could see the smoke from both east and west of the freeway. We even got pictures.
We didn’t get to the park until about 12:30, way after it was supposed to start. The only directions we had was at Crystal Springs area near the Merry Go Round. So we drove slowly around looking for a group of about 15 or twenty with few if any kids. Well, all we saw was birthday parties for kids. Groups of 30, or 50, or a hundred with balloons, bounce housed, and kids running everywhere. We kept driving. Around, and around we went. Finally, we found a small group of four sitting on the grass. One girl waved at us. OMG, it was Liz (Quest)! We yelled at her and then found a parking place.
As we got closer the smoke looked worse.
Liz (Quest), Tracy (TRE69), Angelica (Latinababe), and Paul (LoganBruin) were there relaxing and taking it easy. But unfortunately they were either on the grass or in two very low-slung chairs they had brought. Well, chairs were the one thing we hadn’t packed. So we found a picnic table that was empty and made ourselves comfortable, even though they told us that a parks person had already told them that reservation were required. We just crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. We sat and chatted and waited for others to arrive, even though Tracy let us know that several had called to let her know that they couldn’t get through the fire area. Finally after about an hour and a half Rob (RobtheTraveler) and Joy (pvtjoy) arrived with food from Panda Express. We all sat around and ate to our fill and continued chatting for awhile.
Way too soon it was time for things to break up. Hugs all around and we headed for home. Another fun meetup in the book.