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Braving California’s fires on trip to parents

On Wednesday, August 19, I drove through hell.

The day started well enough. I woke up in a lovely pine forest near Mount Shasta. The night before, I had watched the sun set on the mountain and the stars come out. By breakfast, the mountain was enveloped in smoke.

As I left the Siskiyou mountains, the smoke thickened, darkened and filled the wide Sacramento Valley. After Redding, I can usually see the Sierras about 25 miles on the west, to my left and the Coast Range about 20 miles to my right, to the east. All the way down to Sacramento, I enjoy the open country and the big sky and the way oak...


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