For my last night in Midpines my dear friends and neighbors, Tre and Susan, hosted a party for a group of shell-shocked Midpines residents who survived the fire.
Our group of friends sat on the back deck of their home, which two days ago might have been lost, and consumed copious amounts of food and alcohol. Doug Chappell brought some fine selections of wine and port from his Mariposa vineyard (which was almost burnt as well). I contributed some sake, Susan cooked a delicious shrimp dinner, and Jen baked a tasty layered fruit cake. Jen and Louis, pictured, were featured on CNN as they evacuated!
We shared evacuation stories, laughed over what silly items we hurriedly collected before fleeing (mine was a dinosaur clay figure I had made in second grade), and raised our glasses in a toast to Fatty and Little G goldfish, casualties of the fire.
I arrived back in Yellowstone this evening, elated but exhausted. Andy, my pronghorn friend, greeted me in my front-yard.