Saturday, July 26, 2008

Smoke gets in... everything. Well, it does when the air is taupe as it was yesterday afternoon at Tassajara. Ash was falling heavily. We'd been thinking of staying the night but that plan dissolved as soon as we arrived. Obviously this heavy smoke layer was reawakening doubts about the timetable for reopening guest season and the wisdom of having a large number of people down there.

It appears that the air is clearer this morning and Inciweb states that today 'will be the last day of firing operations if all goes well. Crews will begin the transition from securing line and mop up to rehabilitation work'. There is also talk that the crews, who are already beginning to leave, will all pack up and go on the 30th.

On the drive into Tassajara there were flames on both sides of the road between China Camp and the ridge. On the way out we were able to see that large areas of Miller Canyon were alight. And a large portion of tree had fallen across the road.

Standing on the other side of the tree was the Ino, Judith, who has been having no luck at all with her journeys across the road. She was smiling widely and shouted out that 'there's a man with a chain-saw'. While he was firing up his saw another truck pulled up on our side of the tree. He had chains and was able to pull the stump off the road. All cleared in about 10 minutes. Many thanks.

The tree from which the roadblock had fallen was still alight. We could see flames about 20ft up where the trunk had burned through and the section had fallen. This was one of many trees festooned with festively red KILLER TREE tape.


Anonymous said...

Very grateful for this blog, grateful that Tassajara survived, and very very grateful to all of you who make the effort to keep this precious, sacred resource operating for the sake of all.....

Anonymous said...

What's the situation with poison oak? I am coming soon to help out and am allergic to poison oak. Is anyone having special trouble with poison oak in the ashes (vs on trails)? I would be grateful for any information you have.

Brad said...

Q: What Cheech & Chong movie did Tassajara narrowly avoid re-enacting recently?

A: Up In Smoke

Q: What Cheech & Chong movie is Tassajara currently re-enacting?

A: Still Smokin'

elizabeth said...

Fire Monks

We buried the Buddha.
Stocked up on

Watched as the smoking
hills descended
dressed in red.

Choked breath and nausea
were our honored guests.
Ten-thousand hours

of zazen now
in a single burning ember,
the motionless eyes

of a fallen
buck, the voices
of four good friends.

No-one knows
exactly when it happened ~
when what raged around us found

solace in the arms
of what could
tame it, entered

to flow with quiet
warm rapture through
our and the un-

buried Buddha’s
veins …

Tim said...

The latest installment David Zimmerman's detailed account of the fire at Tassajara has been posted to the site.

The Day the Fire Arrived.

Paul Hoffman said...

I guess that no news is good news. I am on a different contentinent this week, and so I feel even more attachment to finding out what is happening post-fire (and even just wanting to be sure that we still are post-fire).

Tim said...

The only news that I've heard is that Tassajara will be reopening on Aug. 3.


Anonymous said...

I had the great fortune to spend a few days in early June at Tassajara and took close-up photos of flowers in the garden and the grounds. Things change. Beauty is ephemeral. If you would like to see them go to: