Last Thursday, I was
I was mistaken.
By Thursday evening, helicopters were buzzing over the house tops, fire trucks from several counties and two states were positioned strategically around The Holler, roads were closed, hikers were being plucked off the Appalachian Trail and ferried in to town in the backs of pick ups... it was mayhem.
And it was cool as hell.
I threw some clothes on, grabbed my camera and headed to town. There was a crowd gathered up by the elementary school. Located on top of a hill, in the middle of The Holler, you can see just about anything that might be going on from there.
I ran in to some of the folks from The Asylum. They'd just gotten off work and were out with their binoculars, watching the smoke and flames slowly work their way towards the Tennessee line. Most of them live out that way. They'd already been threatened by a wildfire coming from the other direction earlier in the week and were a bit frustrated.
From there, I headed down to the spa lawn where all the firefighting efforts were being coordinated.
I watched them land helicopters. I squeed. I'm five.
Standing on the bridge, looking out over the river, helicopters flying overhead, I was lost in my own thoughts when I heard, "MAHALA!!! OH MY GOD HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"
I turned to see the Whiny-Assed Receptionist crossing the road at full waddle, bodacious tattas swaying to and fro, arms waving violently.
Every. Time. I. Leave. My. House.
"Oh my gawd, isn't this CRAAAAZY!??! My husband says that house is going to burn down," referring to the huge old house that's sat overlooking Frog Pond Holler, from high on the mountain, for as long as I can remember. "There was some man they arrested for drugs last year that said he was going to burn the whole town down. My husband said he probably started it."
Her husband works for the Forest Service. Apparently, he knows everything.
The old house that she insisted was going to burn down, had already been surrounded by fire trucks and soaked. Several firefighters were stationed up there guarding it.
I spotted Andy, Lulu's bubahubby, on the other end of the bridge. I scurried in his direction, Whiny-Ass right on my heels.
He acted weird. Maybe it was just me. I dunno.
I haven't heard from Lulu in weeks and I stopped texting her. It might take a while, but I will eventually get the hint.
Cut bait, move on. Life's too short.
Whiny-Ass took one look at Andy and said, "My husband says that house is going to burn down."
For a moment, I tried to decide whether I had enough strength to push her off the bridge, whether she would drown, if I cared if I went to jail.
I could just imagine her teetering over the rail, her eyes big as saucers, her voice trailing off as she fell, "My husband saaaaaiiiiiiiiiddddddd........"
I determined there were too many people around, some idiot would probably try to save her, so I shook it off. Then I snuck away.
By then, my sinus' were swollen shut from the smoke and standing there watching the rushing river had triggered my need to pee, as Ma would say, like a Russian race horse, so I headed back to the house. Besides, I'd spotted The Groper heading my way and I'd used up all my people skills for the day.
The fire raged on through the night. The Amazon couldn't go to work because of the road being closed. By Saturday, it was reported that 2600 acres were burning.
That's a big ass fire ya'll.
Saturday brought much needed storms, raining hard all day. I thought for sure the fire would be completely out, but according to Big City news, it's still burning. The forest service is supposed to be burning around the perimeter starting today. We'll see how that goes.
Anywhoodles, hopefully they won't break the internet with their wilderness burning and whatnot. It's been unpredictable the past few days.
In the meantime, all the trails are closed so "through hikers" on the AT are stranded in The Holler. They've picked the dollar store clean and started a hobo village of tents behind the diner.
Ya'll have a good one, we'll talk again soon.
For more information on the Appalachian Trail, check out: 2000 Miles to Maine: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail
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