I returned home from a couple weeks in the Redwoods (link) to more smoke, bad air quality, hot temps and forest closures.
Where oh where to go? There were only a few places showing consistent good air quality. The coast, the Flagstaff area and the Washington cascades. Of course all it takes is a change of winds to dictate new smoke zones.
Since I’m not really a coastal gal and having just spent a couple weeks there, I chose north. I grabbed a bunch of maps prepared to run from the smoke, using Purple Air as my guide.
I stopped to stretch my legs at the Living Sculpture Memorial Garden (link) near Mt Shasta.
It was still quite smoky and I was happy to have N95 masks.
The images are powerful and my timing was appropriate as there had just been deaths in Afghanistan.
This was one of my high school teachers.
Mt Shasta was nearly invisible due to the nearby fires.
You can see on Gaia the colored blobs which represent this year’s fires. Two crossed Highway 97 which I was driving, the Lava and Tenant fires. The Antelope Fire is still burning and hopefully will be snuffed out with plentiful snow and rain this fall.
I was testing an air purifier (Amazon link) suitable for car use with USB power and rechargeable batteries. I’m happy to report it made a huge difference driving through smoky areas as well as sleeping in lower AQI than optimal.
Gaia has a new map layers showing AQI for today and tomorrow. I drove 6 hours to land outside the yellow zone where I found blue sky. I’d hoped to stop at Crater Lake but it was completely smoked in according to my resources, with AQI around 300. The purple blob is where my house lives and what I’d be breathing if I hadn’t escaped. Last year I purchased an air purifier for my house (Amazon link). It helps but being stuck inside is not my idea of fun.
Ah happiness is finding blue sky!
I found a dispersed campsite where I could enjoy some fresh air.
I enjoyed watching the sunset and had hopes for good AQI for nearby hiking the next day.
My heart is filled with much empathy to those who can’t escape and especially those who have homes, family, friends and communities at risk.
DATE(S): Aug 31, 2021
- Living Memorial Sculpture Garden (LMSgarden.org)
- Klamath National Forest – Living Memorial Sculpture Garden
Other Jaunts in California (link)