Sheltering in Saratoga
Situated on the Saratoga Creek and overlooking a park, The Inn is a boutique hotel that was acquired by Hilton not too long ago. For anyone visiting Silicon Valley, the quaint village of Saratoga provides a calm oasis in the middle of the frantic tech world. For me, it is a place to shelter after getting a mandatory evacuation order at 10 PM last night.
California had so many lightning strikes two days ago, that there are thousands of fires raging in the state. We have a complex of fires now threatening to devour California's oldest state park—Big Basin Redwoods. With 10,000 acres (probably more now) ablaze with 0% containment, the California Fire people decided to evacuate a large area. Our home happens to be right on the line. We are just inside the widest reach of the order. The people on the other side of the road did not have to evacuate. However, the smoke was so thick, making my eyes water, that I am happy to comply. It's also easier to sleep farther from the fires. I don't have to worry every time I hear the wind and wonder if the fires will accelerate. The map shows the area of the fires and our house. When we left last night, we stopped briefly a few miles from our house where we got a view of the fires.
Saratoga is less smoky than our house. By car, where we are staying is 12 miles down a curvy road from our house. As the crow flies, I think the hotel is about 4 miles from our house. I took a walk this morning and was thankful I was wearing a mask. It wasn't COVID I was worried about, but smoke. I decided to spend the rest of the day indoors, with only one foray our for an errand. The smoke is thick in the sky, making the sun appear like and orange glow. We have no idea how long we need to stay away, but right now I am quite comfortable at The Inn. The upside is that I don't have to cook dinner, just forage for take-out.