Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Pictures

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Bunker

Where to start. Barb and I were there at the bunker to begin some finish work I have promised to do. I had brought the 20ft trailer out to get it out of the yard here in Austin. Some of the work involved cutting some steel and we thought we had better not. The humidity was about 4% and the wind was really blowing. We decided not to do the cutting and to head back a day early so I could rest before a DR.s appointment on Monday. Sometime Saturday a welder in Marfa caused sparks to ignite the dry grass at his shop. News reports say that it only took only 1:30 minutes to cover the 21 miles to Fort Davis. By that time it had spread into a wide front that burned the mountain and 20 or 30 houses in town.
We were blissfully ignorant of all this until Sunday morning when we saw a crawler on the national news. I called Mr. Hicks on his cell and got all the news. He told us that The Bunker was still standing but materials that I had stored in back was gone as well as one of the enclosed trailers. The wooden porch was undamaged (that'll make you scratch your head) and the power poles had been spared. Many of the poles on the road and down on the hiway were burned off at ground level (see picture). We thought we had better see for ourselves so we headded back.

The whole mountain was on fire and I heard Sunday that it was 0% contained and had scorched 84 sq miles in Jeff Davis county alone. On our way to Ft D we were stopped on hiway 67 outside of Alpine due to fires along the road. Things went bad very fast and a change in wind direction put us (Barb and I and about 30 other drivers) in danger. I wasn't worried, I was parked two cars behind a propane truck. Wait!!! What.. The smoke was very dense and the DPS figured we stood a better chance if we got out of there through the fire line. He told us to saddle up and lead us about 6 miles out of the fire area. Once out we saw that they had Northbound traffic stopped and there were about fifty cars waiting. Damage to a RR bridge caused the Sunset Limited to be delayed 6 hours between Alpine and Marfa. See link.
Later Sunday night we tried to go back to Fort Stockton but the road was still closed and 90 to Marathon was closed too. All of this was 30 miles from Fort Davis and we had to retrace our course and by this time the road to Balmohrea was closed also. Wild Rose Canyon was blazing and it was dark. The back fires that were set up on the mountain glowed and gave the whole world a feeling of eeriness We were stuck. DPS troopers told us the only way out was past the observatory 50 miles to Kent and then 67 miles to Fort Stockton. No early bed-time for us.

Pictures of fire damage

These are the houses that were totaled. They went up like a roman candle and thank goodness all were empty at the time. The first one is the three building on the very tip of the mountain. They had been working on a remodel for about a year.

It looks like the end of the worid

This week end there was a major fire that involved the bunker. When I say MAJOR I mean 60K acres+. The fire was so fast it destroyed 3 of the houses on the mountain totally and damaged most of the rest. I have a few pictures to share:

Friday, April 01, 2011


I want one. Have you seen the Direct TV ads about the opulence of having so many channels to watch? The tiny "lap giraffe' is what I'm talking about. I can see a whole herd roaming the bunker compound and I can plant several bonzai trees for feed and a tiny watering hole down by the address marker. Soon I can run the whole herd North to the railhead. Yipie..eeye..ay. Wait, that means a market for the meat. They will eat them. No, I better keep them down on the ranch. Well they do make cuddly
pets. Want one?