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Up the Mountain to Autumn Rock

One of the highlights of a week with Ricky Tims in LaVeta is a visit to his house on the mountain. This is the third time I’ve been privileged to go up the mountain; at first it was the 10 foot square cabin with a tipi nearby, then it was an excavation with forms for the underpinnings, and now it was a house that escaped an immense wildfire.

road20behind-mSnow made the drive challenging. Although the majority had melted in LaVeta, there was still a lot of snow on the mountain. Ricky drove his 4-wheel drive truck slowly up the mountain while I peered out the window overcome by the beauty of the starkness of burned trees against barren mountains.burned20trees20and20mountain-m

My seatmate in the back was so generous as to keep rolling down her window for me to take photos out her window–I took so many–it was so beautiful.

Rabbit Hill is always a challenge but we made it up and wandered about Ricky’s house. It is so lovely and with such wonderful views—I would never get anything done–just stare out the windows. They have plans to re-forest some of the hills but it will be a decades long project and because it is a developed area all privately funded.

cows20going20to20church-mI was pleased to see the old Catholic Church did not burn but its steeple fell off; Mirkwood next to the house had only a few burned trees but otherwise intact. mirkwood-mRicky tells me they had some green returning to the hillsides by fall and the oak trees will regrow in some fashion. The pine trees will not but they were infested with pine borer beetles and so in a way the fire was a cleansing fire.

On the way down the mountain we spied a Great horned owl, visible because there is no foliage on the trees.great20horned20owl20in20tree-m

We were all happy to end our day at Alys’ with lobster tail and mashed potatoes and creme brulee.

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