Our employee appreciation pizza party was supposed to be yesterday. The Man and I scheduled our whole day around it. I sure was excited to stuff myself with delicious pizza.
We were at the public library when I got the call. The Man had gone inside to print insurance documents, and I’d stayed in the van in the blistering heat with the dog. The Man had been having trouble completing his task and had come to ask me for help when my phone rang.
It was The Big Boss Man calling to tell us the pizza party had been postponed, There was a fire on the mountain. The road to Babylon on that side of the mountain was closed, and three of the campgrounds run by the company I work for had been evacuated and shut down. We’d have to eat pizza another day.
Almost exactly the same thing happened last year. A fire started on the mountain and one of the two roads to Babylon had been closed. I’d gotten the call saying the party had been postpones while I was still in town. As The Lady of the House said, what are the chances a fire would postpone our pizza party two years in a row?
Since we wouldn’t be eating pizza, we bought our groceries as quickly as we could so we could get out of the heat. The drive up was a little tense because we didn’t know what we would find at the top.
As The Big Boss Man had warned me, the main road leading to the entrance to our campground was closed. The exit lane was left open, but the entrance lane was barricaded and had a large “road closed” sign in front. No one was guarding the road, so it was easy enough to swing the van around the barricades.
We went right to the mercantile to call The Big Boss Man for an update, but we found him driving through the campground. He pulled his truck near our van, and we talked for a while.
The fire is big and threatening homes (some seasonal, some year-round) and property, so there are many firefighters trying to control it. Our campground, the trail, and the campground where the mercantile is located are not officially closed, but the the authorities want to discourage extra people from being up here, hence the roadblock. The reservation service has cancelled all reservations for Labor Day weekend at all of the Forest Service campgrounds on the mountain. The company I work for will lose all the revenue, as well as all the revenue the mercantile and parking lot would have brought in.
Where does this leave us?
The Man was supposed to work in the parking lot today, but since no one is likely to cross the barricade to visit the trees, he’s not needed there. The Big Boss Man said he could scrape and paint picnic tables, as he’d been planning to do some point later in the season.
The Mercantile is closed, so I’m not working there today. The Big Boss Man said I could help paint picnic tables, but I’d rather have another day off. However, I can’t afford to not get paid for too many days. I’ll have to find something to do tomorrow or the next day, but I don’t know how The Big Boss Man can possibly keep me, The Man, and three other camp hosts (if and when they come back up) busy if there are no tourists.
I don’t feel as if we are in any danger. Unlike during the fire time last year, we haven’t been warned an evacuation may be coming. Ash is not falling from the sky onto the campground. (Ash is reportedly falling from the sky in the campground where The Big Boss Man stays, twelve miles up the road.) Last night the light looked normal, but this morning it had the weird yellow cast I learned last year means a fire is nearby.
It’s a waiting game now. Will there be any work for us? Should we stay or should we go? If we go, where? The story will contine to unfold in the next few days. For now, I’m taking the day off, sitting at the mercantile and scheduling blog posts while The Man paints tables.
If you pray or light candles or send good vibes, please put in a word for the firefighters, the people and animals whose homes are in danger, the campers who won’t get to come up here for their Labor Day weekend, and for me and The Man, who need to work and would like to eat free pizza soon.