Since I was riding without the kiddos, I decided to swap up my cargo routine and try out my dad's Burley Travoy. He's been getting tons of use out of it by going shopping and delivering large packages, kids' bikes, or dehydrators to me across town. I'd never tested it out before and was incredibly impressed. Although I had overpacked, the trailer still rolled really smoothly. It was especially nice to be able to pop the trailer off the bike and cart the gear into the cabin or roll it around the farmer's market without worrying about leaving it in the way or in danger of being stolen.
As I reached the Guy West Bridge on the American River Parkway, I noticed big black plumes of smoke filling the sky. Sadly, the ARP is regularly plagued by brush fires--sometimes due to arson or illegal camping/cooking along the levee. They were able to fully contain this fire after closing off the bike trail for a few hours. The excessive heat and drought has made the area extremely susceptible to brush- and wildfires. Of course, the fireworks display at Cal Expo was still allowed to go on. Can't let a fire put a damper on freedom, right?
In the morning, I received a text from my dad mentioning a fire out near Winters. There wasn't much information about it, yet, except that it was near Lake Solano and they had already evacuated some of the rural homes and resorts up the highway from the campground. Sure enough, you could see the smoke-filled sky stretching over the hills. After a nice long recharge stop at the Davis farmer's market, I continued up to Winters to see if camping would still be an option.
My thoughts go out to the firefighters out in dangerous conditions trying to contain the flames and to the people who have been displaced and are at risk of losing their homes. It's another reminder that we are living in a severe drought where even the tiniest spark can tear through thousands of acres in a flash.