Where There’s Smoke

I try to be disciplined and blog every other Friday, but I skipped last week. I had a very good reason. Our family spent a couple of days in Las Vegas. My husband, sister-in-law, and I drove back on I-15 on Friday, my blog day. Just as we hit the El Cajon Pass, we got stuck in standstill traffic. Then we saw what had earlier appeared to be a dust storm rapidly growing into an obvious wildfire. As the smoke spread, we sat in our car and waited. Soon, drivers started to get out of their cars to survey the situation. We turned off the engine of our car and got out as well. The wind was strong, and we smelled smoke. I was nervous.

Then we saw cars driving on the shoulder of the highway but in the opposite direction of the traffic. One woman leaned out of a passenger window and warned us to flee because she had seen smoke ahead. We immediately turned our car around and used the shoulder of the road to escape. CHP officers directed us onto a dirt road. We could have proceeded from there to a street that would have headed back in the direction from which we had come, but, instead, we followed SIRI’s directions and continued on the bumpy dirt road for several miles to another highway that eventually led us home.

This was one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever had. I have never been that close to a wildfire. I’m proud to say that all of us kept our heads. None of the people we saw on the highway were crying, screaming, or hysterical, despite knowing that we were in a dangerous situation. It felt sort of like we were in a disaster movie, but the characters were calm. Later, we watched the news and were thankful that we had escaped the situation that some of the motorists found themselves in. Some cars burned, and motorists had to flee at the direction of firefighters.

Last week I had planned to blog about good vacation books I’ve read in the past. I will do so in my next blog. Sometimes, life is truly more exciting than fiction.

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