Mon 30 Jun, 2008
As we drove through Oregon, traveling the I-5 corridor, we marveled at the heat haze. It was dense enough to obscure the horizon, and even turned the nearby hills a dingy brown. What else could it be when its 100* degrees outside for a few days in a row?
Specifically, smoke from the wildfires raging through Northern California. Intellectually, we know that state boundaries are lines on a map, but even though we knew about the fires we never made the additional connection that the California border was only 14 miles south of Ashland.
The air smelled like woodsmoke, and it was incredibly dissonant — woodsmoke belongs to crisp fall or cold winter days, not sweltering, sweaty midsummer days. It turned the sky the color of a chicken’s brown egg — J. says it was the color of Donaldson’s Sun of Pestilence.
It began to clear, or the wind shifted, in the evening, and although the air was still heavy with smoke it wasn’t as aggressive. After the sun went down, in fact, it cleared quite a bit and cooled off.