Well, as if witnessing the carnage and blaze'd destruction up Bell Canyon in general and the Herman Estate in particular wasn't enough, today I went for a walk up MaDa Valley. I didn't even think about any fire damage up there, but having witnessed it, it seems like a no-brainer. Now, I'm pretty familiar with MaDa Valley, having spent many dozens of hours up in those trails under various chemical influences, so I've got a "back of my hand" knowledge of what's what. And I tell ya, aside from a few token spots - I am happy to report that the Gypsy Camp is unscathed - the place looks alien. The field with the abandoned car is gone. Flattened. A few plant stems stick up here and there, but for the most part, it's a uniform carpet of blackened soot. Several spots had trees that fell across the pathway, requiring some dexterity to traverse.
But just seeing patches of white ash, still blowing in the now-heavy winds of this early October afternoon, sent a chill up my spine. It looks like Smaug came down from his mountain and wrecked destruction. Magma Golems must have stamped through the region, which is the only explanation I can come up with to deduce the scattered patches of havoc. Seeing what was essentially my playground for a couple years rendered thus is quite astounding.
Groves of trees were turned into writhing skeletons, bushes into piles of blah, cracks in the dirt and trampled brush where firefighters had to bring their equipment in. And standing as a stark dichotomy to all this madness was the northern mountain face, Castle Peak and its resultant chain, untouched completely, standing like an invincible witness to the carnage that went on below.