Cerro Pelado fire

May 8 2022 thoughts

The fire started up by Sierra Los Pinos in the Jemez on April 22 (happy Earth Day.. ugh!) It has been mixed conditions (primarily wind related) – one crazy wind and smokey day (on the start day) and we got 80% ready to evacuate (animal carriers assembled and right by the door, for example). Everyone (lab, county, forest, NNSA/DC, individuals) is watching the fire closely and making plans for many contingencies.

Today (May 8, happy Mother’s Day??) is dry and windy and the start of “100 hours of red flag conditions.” I was supposed to go on work travel but cancelled. This morning I’ve been watching fire information, air fire-fighting and fire-mapping, and remember some good adventures in that area of the Jemez. This post is semi-therapeutic, semi-informative for others perhaps.

I saw this image of current aircraft and fire status and I decided to add a few photos from semi-recent activities up there – you can see the fuel load and what is going on. This image is from ~9am this morning (May 8):

Cerro Pelado fire map May 8 9am

Th map is a bit busy, so here goes: the radial black rings are distance from NM4 and NM501 intersection aka “back gate.” Each ring is a mile.

Red are IR hot spots (very likely fire, but need to be confirmed).

Blue tracks are various fire fighting/support planes. I added two black arrows. The lower arrow is the start of the narrow spot of FR 287 heading out Sawyer Mesa. Last Nov 6 2021, I rode this with Shawn and Mike. You might be able to view the route and two other photos near here on strava. Two photos taken really close to the head of the lower black arrow (and right at the NE corner of the fire by IR) are below. You can see – fire has burned there before, not lots of crowning opportunity for the current fire or live trees right here, but still fuel, and super dry.

Looking roughly east, towards Los Alamos
Looking roughly west. The fire appears to be near here, burning from the left side, wind and fire are moving to right and the IR spot map indicates it may have crossed FS287 (this “road”) – not confirmed on the ground though.

Next, is a more recent photo – from Jan 9, 2022. Aven and I went up to cross country ski. The photo is taken near the head of upper black arrow in the first map. You may be able to check the track and photo at strava. In the photo below, you can see more live trees (fuel.. ugh..) than out Obsidian Ridge (the two photos above). The snow sure looks nice but that is all gone and not much moisture at all up there right now.

Jan 6 2022 ski, about a mile from where the IR map shows the fire (as of May 8, 2021).

We are watching the fire carefully, thinking of everyone up there – people who live up there and are evacuated, the fire fighting crew (THANK YOU!), and everyone impacted and stressed out by the smoke, wind, dry, and uncertainty. Everyone stay safe!

Just Another Sunday in the Jemez

Did you miss it?

Just Another Sunday in the Jemez

November 29, 02020

After brewing coffee, I settled into the Sunday New York Times and Santa Fe New Mexican.  The first clue was on A13.  And again on A17 (but in black and white the second time).  The coffee hadn’t really kicked in. I missed the clue, definitely the first time (A13).  It was subtle and  wasn’t just the lack of coffee, but the second clue (A17) — definitely deja-vu, then a double-take, but I still just thought it was weird.

The article about folks in Stonesfield trying to save their pub “The White Horse” was compelling and interesting (enough for a once-through, but not twice).  After reading through the rest of the NYT and going through the Santa Fe paper it was time for the crossword puzzle.  Not the most challenging Sunday puzzle but there were a few interesting clues.  27 Across (4 letters) “Drake’s Output” made me think immediately of SETI (I thought of the Drake equation) and  59 Across (7 letters) “Haphazardly organized” – after the A13 and A17 “misprint” I thought of NYTIMES.

Then many pieces began to fall into place…

The White Horse was the steed of the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  We recently rewatched Good Omens, which portrays the White Horseperson (not all men, in the modern telling) as Pollution, who had recently (since antibiotics and vaccinations came into favor) had replaced Pestilence. But in 2020 – perhaps Pestilence is making a come back?  The tie to the current pandemic was strange.

When shopping at the local co-op a few days ago, I was really taken by the beautiful Taos Hum Hot Sauce Van that was in the parking lot.  Check the plates on that sweet ride.

What is the Taos Hum?  Spend a few minutes with google, but this was more than just another moment of New Mexico weirdness, with the pile of clues starting to come together.  Taos Hum hot sauce? I recommend you give it a shot – but what is the tie to this narrative?  Well, all the peppers for the hot sauce are grown on the Walking Trout Farms.  Still don’t see the connection?  Read on.

“Walking Trout Farm is situated on a southwestern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico along the Rio de Truchas.  The river is a high quality, cold water stream with brown trout that runs for less than a kilometer across the farm before disappearing into the sandy river bed.  Legend has it that every year the trout walk up the four-mile dry arroyo from the Rio Grande to spawn in the cold clear waters of the Rio de Truchas.”   – from https://taoshumhotsauce.com/pages/the-farm

So we know that just because something ends up in the desert where you don’t think it should be, doesn’t mean it didn’t just walk there.  Or couldn’t walk away.  Or perhaps it does take some magical realism to all work out – how do you think the trout get there?

Don’t forget the 27 Across clue (in case you did: Drake’s Output) – this is New Mexico we are trying to make some sense of.  Roswell.  Below are a few photos of one of my favorite road signs seen all around the Enchanted Circle (including Taos)

How does this connect?  What was the NYT covering up on A17 of the New Mexico version?

The article about the disappearance of the Utah monolith did not appear (either Saturday 11/28 or Sunday 11/29) in the New Mexico print versions of the New York Times.  Was this the missing page A17?

I went to twitter to track down the author and ask, but found…

Did you catch the John McCracken connection?  See the NYT article, also supposedly by Bryan Pietsch, at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/arts/design/john-mccracken-utah-monolith.html I’ll let you noodle on that one, but (as wikipedia tell us), McCracken lived and worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Take a look at some of his artwork http://www.artnet.com/artists/john-mccracken/ and read about what he thought about aliens and SETI.

How does the White Horse fit into it all?  Still your part of the puzzle to figure out, but chip in a few bucks (or pounds) to the cause while you sort it out – maybe we’ll meet there for a pint someday?  https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/back-the-white-horse 

Was the Taos Hum Hot Sauce truck making a “delivery” in Utah recently?

Just another Sunday in the Jemez. Just another 2020 Sunday, that is..

 Bonus (dis)connection:“The strange mystery of the Taos Hum has been solved! Only some can hear it, we promise you will taste and feel it, and no one can MAKE IT STOP!” https://taoshumhotsauce.com/.

Travel Picture 11

Yes, It goes to 11! Bonus picture..

My cousin, Kathy Park, challenged me to 10 pictures – no explanation, but pictures that made an impact. I actually enjoyed the 10 album challenge, and it was good fun going through old photos! Just like the albums – it is impossible to pick just 10. If you want to the challenge – consider it issued! Join the fun.