With the main gate cattle guard in place, we have some choices to make about our departure. The weather in Pueblo, Colorado is baking. Storm is not thrilled about taxing the RV cooling system with a roller coaster ride through there during the heat of the day. Pressing us to leave sooner rather than later is the scent of smoke drifting over the ranch on Wednesday night. We discover on Thursday morning that a dreaded, rapidly and erratically spreading wildfire is ravaging the dry landscape about 30 miles south of us. The occasional small ashes are already drifting down on us. Read about the frightening and enormous “Spring” wildfire by clicking here.
Running from a Wildfire
We decide that leaving on Thursday is our best bet, but Storm wants to wait until after 6pm to depart. The temps in Pueblo will still be at or above 100 at that time, but at least they should be starting to fall. This also puts us transiting Denver after 10pm when the traffic there should be a little less maddening. In order to lessen the strain on our engine, Storm decides not to trailer the Jeep until we get on the other side of Pueblo. Instead I drive the Jeep and follow along behind him until we reach a rest area north of Pueblo to load.
Testing the Cattle Guard So We Can Escape*
A Long Night
For those of you who like us are concerned about Monte’s ranch – you should be. If you checked the link in the first paragraph of this post, you can see that the fire now covers over 100,000 acres. Monte assures us that he has solid evacuation plans.
As for us, after plowing a lonely, moonless path between the nocturnal fields of Nebraska, we park our rig in the Cabela’s parking lot in Sidney, Nebraska about 1:30am local time. Thank goodness for these generous stores that allow RV parking overnight. After some much needed slumber, we awaken the next day to discover that our newest adventure is just beginning!
*The video in this post is my first attempt at using a “green” screen to add me in after the original recording. I am not great at video selfies. Monte was busy watching to be sure our undercarriage cleared the grate and Storm was driving the RV so there was no one to record me talking. Please excuse the rough edges. I learned at lot from this first attempt so I hope to improve in the future! Note to self: no reflective sunglasses when green-screening 🙂