Well that’s one way to get out of a lease…

…but I don’t want to!

The Butte Fire has been devastating my adopted second home of Calaveras County. As it exploded, I made the two-hour drive from Livermore to the West Point area Thursday night for a very sad mission to photograph our second home/survival retreat for insurance purposes in the dark (power out). At the time I figured I only had a few hours; the roads were filling up with horse trailers running up from the valley below on volunteer rescue missions for all the horses in the area — my neighbors may have four or ten horses, but typically only a two-horse trailer. Rescued a pickup-bed-full of books, artwork, photos, electronics, some clothes. Left behind: thousands of books, half our ammo (in fireproof concrete safes, natch), all my non-business clothes, dishware, furniture, etc., and a very nice telescope.

image1 image2If the place survives the #ButteFire it will be a miracle, we’ll see. When I left at midnight Thursday the fire was 3-5 miles away as the crow flies (probably 5-7 on the ground with topography). All day 9/11 and yesterday I listened to the scanner feeds with dread. Yet for our area, the danger seems to be about the same or a bit less right now; the fire’s been spreading south and east and the dozer line above our house hasn’t been approached — yet. I’ll take that as a good sign but anything can happen. (Photo at upper left: our house. Photo below it: thought it was our house on social media but it’s not, thank goodness. Sorry for whoever’s house it was.)

This was my Rawles-ian retreat, the culmination of a decade’s worth of thought and planning since I discovered www.survivalblog.com back in 2005.

Earthquake-proof? Check. (No earthquakes in Skulls County.)

Multiple year-round water sources including a year-round river? Check.

Excellent strategic and tactical defensive possibilities? Check. (Located on a large bluff surrounded by deep river canyons; the house is deep within an interior subcanyon. Quarter-mile driveways in, easily covered from multiple locations and easily alarmed with those MURS-band perimeter alarms.)

Fantastic like-minded neighbors? Check.

Multiple avenues of egress off the bluff in different compass directions? Check. (Didn’t think about a fire so big it could block all three of them).

–Luxurious Bay-Area-style interior with custom flooring and light fixtures, Sub-Zero appliances, etc., to keep the wife happy? Check.

California license-to-carry-friendly sheriff? Check.

Second-biggest Sierra fire in history? Yeah, didn’t quite get around to prepping for that yet.


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3 Responses to Well that’s one way to get out of a lease…

  1. Jim says:

    Prayers for it’s preservation and safety. And, for yours and the Mrs., as well.

    I’ll look forward to reading good news in the days to come.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  2. Ted says:

    Optimistic hopes coming your way. Not nearly as useful as rain or calm winds, but it’s the best I can do.

  3. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Here’s hoping it survives.

    If it doesn’t, may I suggest looking into what this guy did?

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