While hiking the Lost Coast in Northern California, my friends and I received word that the #ValleyFire had started in Cobb, California--the area I live. It was my first overnight backpack trip and four of us trekked into the remote redwood region north of Redway.
I trained for weeks for this event in the neighboring forest (Boggs Demonstration Forest) some 5 minutes from my home. I carried increasingly more weight over a period of a few weeks to ready for the 30 pounds of necessary accouterments I would need for our two night adventure.
Also during that time, my friend and I poured over the map of the area, checking distances and elevation gains. Our second day hiking, though, was more than each of us had foresaw and far more than I intended for my first time out overnight.
The sites were stunning as we crossed rushing creeks and walked painstaking switchbacks up steep embankments. At about six hours in, we crested a hill giving me first time access to cell phone coverage. I read a text from my longtime friend, Vicki Crystal, "How close is the fire to you? Praying big time."
Curious, I texted back, "Huh? Where? I'm hiking Lost Coast."
She responded, "Fire on Cobb evacuating town of Cobb extreme winds. 50 acres & growing fast.started a 1:30. Probably won't have official update until tonight later will keep u posted."