For the past couple of months the charred forest has laid still, the earth settling, silently awaiting the rejuvenating benefits of winter. Finally, the last days of January brought a much anticipated storm to the central Sierra. Our meadow and trees were blanketed with lovely, white snow, and all was again silent. The forest is soaking it up, you can almost feel how grateful the trees are!
The drought is far from over, but this is a welcome step in the right direction. Think snow!
2013 was quite a year around here! We so appreciate that we still live in our beloved mountain home. We are forever grateful to the courageous firefighters who helped save it, and we believe that all the prayers and positive energy sent our way during the fire played a major role. Thanks for all your thoughts!
We did indeed survive the Rim Fire and are adjusting to the new environment around us. The view from our property is mostly unchanged, however some areas are a bit stark. Just behind the cabins, as well as the area directly above us, the fire burned close to the ground and was blackened, but we expect many of the trees and shrubs will come back. Otherwise we have a nice green belt around us. The major burn in our area was to the west, below our property. It was devastated for several miles, all the way up to and across our driveway. It is now a moonscape where only sticks remain.
In an effort to prevent serious erosion in our driveway, Bill and Andy have been working hard at restoration, removing and chipping untold numbers of dead trees, and laying ground cloth and straw wattles. Hardin Flat Road remains closed due to “hazards”, thus Sunset Inn also remains closed. We plan to reopen in the spring, after a much needed break. We have had a little rain and a good, cold snow storm early on, to help with the forest renewal. We are hoping for a nice cold, wet winter to continue the healing process. Pray for snow!
We continue working diligently on necessary clean up as well as hazard tree removal. Last week was devoted to reparations in our driveway to help prevent erosion. Countless dead trees and debris were removed and chipped into mulch and returned to nourish the damaged soil. Much more are left awaiting their turn as this work progresses in phases.
Grass is coming up all over the meadow as well as here and there in the forest. Bear clover and oak tree seedlings are sprouting up in lightly burned areas of the forest.
A coyote has been stopping by each evening for a visit leaving his 'mark'.
Fall leaves are still glorious on the maples, but the oaks are beginning to fade fast now.
Nights have been chilly with a light frost each morning in the meadow. Rain and possibly snow is anticipated in the next few days. Welcome winter!
With the re-opening of the government, Yosemite has re-opened as well. In the aftermath of all the recent events, this may be one of the best opportunities to visit the park. Fall colors are well underway, visitation is low, and the majesty of nature's fury all make for a beautiful, quiet time to see the magnificence of this amazing park!
The end of August and early September of this year a major forest fire, the Rim Fire, burned through our beautiful forest including the vicinity of Sunset Inn. We are so fortunate that our property was spared, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of some very heroic firefighters! The surrounding National Forest as well as a portion of Yosemite were hard hit in many areas, thankfully our spot remains a bit of an oasis.
The tremendous outpouring of love and support we've received from our dear friends and wonderful guests from around the world has been truly heartwarming! Thank you so much!!!
There is plenty to do before Sunset Inn can re-open. The smoke has largely dissipated, however we are left with the odor of 'musty campfire' following a recent rain. We continue the clean up and await word from the National Forest and the County as to when our road will be considered safe for visitors. Consequently we are in a state of limbo. We are hopeful we will be welcoming guests again very soon, perhaps in the next month. However, we are now accepting reservations for the 2014 season.
We will continue to post updates on this page, so please check back from time to time.
The forest is ever changing, now perhaps more rapidly than in the past. Last weekend's 3/4 inch of rain was most welcome! It was lovely to see the forest cleaned up a bit, the gray ash darkened, the smoke essentially gone, in it's place the odor of a dampened campfire. Wind brought down a blanket of pine needles to mulch the forest floor, and still a few stubborn stumps smolder on. The healing process has begun.
The enormity of it all can be overwhelming. Such a vast area of our beautiful forest devastated, so many people directly effected, and many more will feel the economic impact for a very long time.
And then…we go out into the woods and make all sorts of new discoveries. Our meadow has lots of vibrant green grass coming up through the char. The forest is very different now, but also fascinating. In many areas the views have opened up, and our Sunset Inn sunsets are more vivid. It is all very interesting and rather mysterious, especially with stumps still smoldering here and there. It is very sad, but also promising in a way. We anticipate spring will be phenomenal!