THE PIES OF NOVEMBER / A SNAPSHOT OF LIVING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
Smoke rolled into Sacramento two days after the Camp Fire started burning. We stayed inside all day on Saturday and baked an apple persimmon pie. Our 1940s home doesn’t have a filter and isn’t tightly built so staying inside didn’t mean safe air quality. We went up to hike overlooking the shores of Lake Tahoe Sunday. The views from highway 50 were of brown smoke hanging low. The air in Tahoe was clear and chilly and hiking felt good after a day stuck inside.
Four days after the camp fire started burning we made an exodus a week early for our thanksgiving trip to portland. I travel to Portland often but this is the first time I went for the blue skies.
Twelve days after the fire started we drove to the Columbia River Gorge to hike. We hiked the lovely La Tourell Falls, the only trailhead easily accessible as the old highway that accesses most of the tail heads was still closed due to last summer's Eagle Creek Fire. We walked among Big Leaf Maples, ferns, alders and conifers.
Thirteen days after the fire started I heard reports of rain in Sacramento. We baked two more pies together: Cabbage cheddar savory pies for thanksgiving dinner. I learned of this pie when it won first place in a pie contest I attended and have been experimenting with baking it ever since.
Fourteen days after the fire started burning I saw pictures of friends in Sacramento celebrating the ability to be outside in healthier air quality.
Sixteen days after the Camp Fire started burning we started making our way back down to Northern California. Air quality reports remain moderate.
We arrived home. We are lucky. There are folks who don't have a home to return to and folks who lost their lives. The sky here was blue again. But the reality of climate change is still a dark patch in the collective energy here on the west coast.