My day, in a few frames. Yes, those are flames and smoke.
This afternoon Chris and I decided to head to the local state park to walk the dogs. It was breezy and cool, but the snow was almost all melted and it seemed like a great day to get outside. The park was a bit crowded when we pulled in, but nothing out of the ordinary. I set up the hiking app to keep track of our mileage, and we set off.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park is a protected archeology dig and a beautiful park all in one. As we made our way past the visitor’s center and down the hill I pointed out to Chris that the water was high under the bridge and reminded him we couldn’t take anything we found. (There are signs all over and I always laugh at these reminders). As we were talking, I thought I saw something orange through the trees to our right. But I kept talking, assuming it was just a dog in a hunter orange vest, a fairly common sight around here during hunting season. In fact, we have a few for our dogs.
But then we got across the footbridge and saw the state park fire trucks. On the other side of the park we could see flames and smoke.
“Ohh, they must be doing their controlled burn,” I said to Chris.
“Kind of weird to do it on such a windy day.”
We agreed on this and decided to head in the opposite direction. Nothing was blocked off and there was not sign of any trouble, so we figured we would just stay out of the way.
About a quarter of a mile later we heard a noise behind us and realized one of the fire trucks was headed down the trail behind us. Wanting to avoid the dogs barking their heads off at the strange trucks, we moved off the trail. The truck followed.
“You folks goin’ far?” the fireman yelled out the driver’s side window.
“Nah, just heading this way. Do you need us to move?” we asked him.
“Well, it might be a good idea. We’re doing a controlled burn see, and it’s probably safer to stick to the area back up the hill, near the visitor’s center.”
“No problem. We’ll head back right now”. With a wave, we turned around. It made sense, though I did point out to Chris that it was a little strange that they didn’t have caution tape up blocking the path, or any sort of warning.
No lie, as we crossed the footbridge flames lit up behind us. When the firemen said that they were doing a controlled burn and we might be safer up the hill, they neglected to say they were lighting the flames RIGHT THERE, as we spoke. Seriously?!
The good news is, we did not end up trapped in the controlled burn. But really? No warning? What if no one had seen us walking?
We did get some nice pictures, at least!