Continuing what has become an emerging trend, I’ve not posted here for two months because, well, there’s not been a lot of progress to report.
It’s not for lack of trying mind you. And we have made several trips to the property in the time since my last post. Here are some images from those trips.
About those plans
Construction has not started because we’ve been waiting for the county to approve building plans. Here’s a sample of what they have:
As of late last week we heard confirmation that the building department has approved the design. Yay!
But we still can’t start construction, because the septic system design has yet to be approved. This requires, among other things, proof that the soils can absorb what comes out of the septic tank. The fact that we’ve had a fully functioning septic system on site for 25+ years didn’t seem to be good enough. So we had to do more digging.
Ferguson makes a big stink
California has had more than its share of wildfires this summer and for the second year in a row, our area was not spared. This time (thankfully!) the fire itself did not directly threaten our property. But the fire was close enough, and large enough, so that air quality was a major issue — for several weeks! This is what it looked like at the Trestlewood Chalet (just below the Logger’s Retreat property) during a visit in early August.
The air quality varied greatly depending on local weather conditions. So a day like this could be followed by a bright, sunny day that looked nearly normal. But when it was like this (which was most days), the air stung your eyes and was hard to breathe for any length of time.
We spent most of our time inside the house, with windows and doors closed, air conditioning on. Hardly a way to enjoy the natural beauty that makes this area so popular.
It should come as no surprise that fire and poor air quality took a major bite out of the local economy, closing much of the park and driving away visitors for the better part of a month during prime tourist season. Like everyone else in the local area, our rentals suffered badly due to many vacations plans being shortened or canceled entirely.
What is now obvious to me is that this is what we, in California (and indeed across much of the world) should expect in future years. Yes summer is the tourist high season in Yosemite, but it is also fire high season as well. There will be more fires, more closings, and more cancellations, not fewer…at least until the bulk of dead trees have been consumed.
The beauty of the Sierras and the Yosemite Valley is eternal. That will not change. But it is also a dynamic beauty, and we are currently in a state of rapid change. This is not simply the “new normal.” It is only the beginning of greater, more rapid change to come.
Hang on tight; it is likely to be a bumpy ride!