Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

The old Platters song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” includes the lyrics:   When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes.   We have certainly shed tears since our lovely flame, Elko, left us.  We thank those of you who reached out with love, support and good memories of our boy.  It has helped a lot.


We have also had some real smoke in our eyes since Idaho is on fire.  Photo by our friend Pam.


The sun is often colored by smoke.

When we took a trip to Boise the normal route down Highway 55 was closed or delayed due to one fire so we went the long way around on Highway 95.


As we drove we could see a helicopter and bucket fighting a new fire.



This was my view of the fire from Highway 95.   The highway was closed shortly after we went through.  


Although we had delays we eventually did make it back to Donnelly using Highway 55 – one lane with a pilot car escort.


The closest fire to our campground is the Mesa fire.

The Mesa fire began July 26 and, as of August 5,  involves over 34,000 acres and is 42 percent contained.  We’ve heard it is about 4 miles away.

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 3.47.09 PM

The blue dot is where we are.  The fire is coming our way but we haven’t heard anything about evacuations.


One day it snowed a lot of ash.


The fire fighting planes come right over us for hours each day.


We  know the fire is getting closer because of the frequency of the Scooper planes gathering 3000 gallons of water from Lake Cascade right in front of us.

We first noticed the scooper planes about a week ago coming through to scoop water for fire suppression.   They came in pairs on a 15-20 minute cycle.  Over the course of time, the fire grew closer, and now the planes come every 5-6 minutes for hours at a time.   See the video below.


fullsizeoutput_4bb8It is very interesting to watch and would be fun if it wasn’t so sad.  We know the pilots and firefighters are working hard to protect what they can.

P1020213Unfortunately wildlife is also effected.  Twice this week we have found a weakened, disoriented bat during the daylight hours of early evening.  This one was in our campsite and rested for a time on our paddle board.


fullsizeoutput_4b93Between us and the Mesa fire is Tamarack resort.  The resort has been through a variety of bankruptcies, tax delinquencies and foreclosures since 2008.   There are still lovely homes, winter skiing and a variety of activities available at Tamarack.   One entity that did not survive the financial problems was Osprey Meadows Golf Course. 

fullsizeoutput_4bb5 Randy remembers playing the course years ago and it is sad to see it now.

fullsizeoutput_4bb6The former cart paths give us a terrific place to walk through rolling meadows and hills.   There are some interesting sites such as this former sand trap.


Former tee box.


A former par 3 at Osprey Meadows.


We haven’t seen as much wildlife in our walks around Tamarack as we would have thought.  We did hear and see sand hill cranes a couple times.



These were really bothered by my presence and took off – like I could bother them.  They are as big as me!


fullsizeoutput_4bccThanks so much to my friend Jacque who braved the smoke to come up for the day.   Loved spending the time with you!


Sunset looks different when the smoke gets in your eyes.


About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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5 Responses to Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

  1. Teri McClelland says:

    That looks horrible! The year we were all at Faragut I got so tired of all the smoke. I hope they get control of it quickly. We’re very green and get rain showers every few days here in Maine. It’s nice to be in a place that still has green grass this late in the summer.
    Stay safe.

    • Serene says:

      I thought about adding a link to the fire in Farragut blog but didn’t. That fire felt more urgent because I felt evacuation could be imminent. This fire would have to go through Tamarack Resort to get to us and the powers that be would put a lot of effort to avoid that.
      Plus there is the familiarity with Idaho is burning AGAIN.

  2. Mark says:

    It seems like summer fires in the western US are becoming a theme! In addition to the Farragut Fires we shared we also had a month of smokey air and burning eyes in Eastern Oregon at Ladd Marsh. And before that fires in southern Colorado the second year we were at Alamosa NWR. I hope that things clear up soon for you and that the fires get any closer.

    Seeing the defunct golf resort was interesting. Might be a good place for a Disc Golf course!!!

  3. Rosie says:

    Thank you for your wonderful reporting. I feel like I am right there. I am very sad about the fires. Stay safe. Elko will always be with you. There are many days I think of my various dog members of my family . He was special .

    • Serene says:

      Thanks Rosie. This fire isn’t quite as dramatic as the one we shared at Farragut but the planes are certainly interesting. Unfortunately it just seems to be the way of the west now.

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