Cajon pass fire   page 5  

Some final shots. We were one of the last travelers to turn around and we're grateful to the CHP for their patience with us.  

No matter how much you see pictures, there is nothing like being there. The smell of the smoke as it gets stronger and permeates your nose, lungs, clothing, car and stays with you until after you get home the next day. The heat of the fire could be felt at a long distance from the flames. Watching the rapid advance and the fires ability to jump long distances and startup unexpectedly. There's a certain excitement about the danger and power of fire which is probably best left to those trained to handle it.

There's a restaurant at the summit where we had a 9 PM meal, right at their closing time. The waitress was very gracious and made our experience one to remember. If you have never stopped there, it is worth considering. The cafe is a part of  history and has memorabilia as a route 66 stop over.

While we sat eating our dinner it was a deja vue going back to the era of Rod Serling and the twilight zone. An episode where a couple stops late at night for a meal in a fifties diner and has a strange encounter. Ours however was delightful.We retreated to Apple Valley and there were no rooms for rent so we improvised a bed in back of the van and spent a restless but uneventful night surrounded by todays modern behemoths of the road. I Can only say good things about the stoic approach and friendly attitude of all those truckers.  

When 5 AM finally arrived the road was opened and we went home. It looked as though the worst was over. As it turned out, WE GOT LUCKY, the road was closed again later that day.