Schneider Springs Fire and Our Family Cabin

We went to our family cabin to grab some more belongings and see what efforts have been made to secure our cabin from burning.  En route toward Yakima you could start seeing the smoke obscuring the hills.  

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This sign was interesting, pointing out Mount Adams and Mount Rainier which you could not see.  

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As we came to the ranger station, Smokey reminded us of the fire danger.  

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The fire fighters are staying in the lumber mill near Naches.  The fields were huge.  

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Across the highway, Grumpy was selling T-shirts.  They were not to benefit the firefighters but to benefit his mortgage.  The shirts were really cool.  

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We hit up a favorite fruit stand.

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And then our favorite crabapple tree.  Unfortunately we were too late and most of them had fallen to the ground.  We were able to get some nearby apples though.

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Then we headed up toward Nile, and the smoke thickened.  There were lots of signs thanking the fire fighters.  

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This was just down river from the cabin, and the nearby fire was evident.

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We rented a cottage at Whistlin’ Jack because the cabin was listed as no access until Thursday at noon.  And we already had the reservations that couldn’t be changed.  It was sad that they still had vacancy on Sunday of Labor Day weekend.  I had wanted to help them out as the pandemic and the fire had damaged their business.  

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But we were told our cottage wasn’t ready by the unmasked employees inside the lodge.  So we headed to the cabin where Greg and Sue were already staying.  

En route I had purchased some seltzer.  I was intrigued because it was advertised as having botanicals, but once I got to the cabin I realized it was called Flying Embers.  Not a  good sign.

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Greg had just bought this tent for $15 at a garage sale on the way.

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The elderberry bush was loaded so I picked as many as I could reach with the ladder.  My grandfather loved elderberry wine.  My previous attempt was a complete failure, but I am going to try again.

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We hung out in the carport for a bit catching up.

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I went inside to try to save some precious-to-us items.  Greg had done a sweep earlier and had secured the melted coins we have from the Big Burn.  So he left this Altoids box, just in case.  I thought ti was funny.

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I grabbed some older books that are important to me as well as a few other things.

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I then went to check into our cottage.  In this time, ash and then larger (but cool) embers started coming from the sky.  Here are some in Greg’s hand.

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I made some cocktails (Old Fashioneds and Mojitos) and we toasted the cabin.

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The fire near Bumping Lake seemed to be exploding and was producing the ambers.

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Another odd thing that Greg and Sue had noticed was all of the algae in the river.  I agreed that it was odd.

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Then I watched the Bumping Lake portion of the fire as well as the helicopter dropping water on the Haystack portion of the fire which also appeared to be blowing up.

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I was going in and out to help prepare dinner.  In the process I appreciated this door knob and imagined all of my relatives that have touched it over the years.  

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Then we had dinner by the river.  It is sad that this photo is out of focus, but it was a very nice location for a meal.

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Then we headed to our cottage. We were very disappointed in it.  The kitchen and bathroom were tiny.  I had thought there was a hot tub, but there wasn’t (but that was my fault not paying attention to details).  It was not clean and a weird assortment of old and new, not charming at all.  This is the queen bedroom.

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The only nice thing about it was this fireplace which we couldn’t use.

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But we did use the community hot tub which was empty of people so that worked out.  But then I didn’t sleep well in the uncomfortable bed.  This morning though Tom went to hot tub some more, and I read in this chair with sunlight coming in the window so that was OK.  

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We made breakfast and then checked out. Their sign is an indication of the state of affairs for this lodge.

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Then we headed over 410 back home.  There were a number of the roads closed which were manned with personnel at every sign.

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As we headed toward Bumping River the smoke thickened again, although overall it was better than the day before. 

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And then we were past it.  We then saw the previous fire with all the dead timber just waiting to blow up again.

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At the top of the pass the colors were starting to change,

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and Mount Rainier looked as regal as ever.

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Greg was with us so when we had cell phone service on the west side he texted me this photo.  He had taken it Saturday evening, and it is the smokey sunshine reflected off of the river.  It is so weird looking.

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On the way back we stopped at the Black Diamond Labor Day Celebration.  It was a nice small town gathering.  I had some peanuts, and Tom had some halibut and chips.

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And we watched some kids racing.  It was a fun stop.

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We made it home safely.  The cabin is safe for now and should stay that way as long as the weather cooperates.  It was spooky though seeing the smoke plumes and the large embers falling.  I do feel a little more comfortable having more items secured just in case.

 

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4 Responses to Schneider Springs Fire and Our Family Cabin

  1. Oh my Donna, what an ordeal! Thank you for this first-hand narrative of what your family has been going through. So many are suffering right now, and we all realize how little control we have over these vast forces.

  2. Jeanne says:

    Thanks, Donna, for sharing all of this. I’m sorry you came so close to losing your old family cabin. What a scare! I’m glad you were able to spend that time with Greg and Sue. Your pictures are really interesting.
    It’s too bad the cottage you rented was such a disappointment. I can see why. The fireplace is beautiful. It would have been fun to use it.
    We have some of the worst smoke from the wildfires around us! It’s really bad today!

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