Going to a World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention has been on our bucket list since before I had ever heard of ‘bucket’ lists. When Spokane won the right of putting on one and that is only 5 hours drive away we knew we would be going.
We made a last minute decision to leave a day early due wildfires burning in BC and Washington State. Our normal route to Spokane was closed due to fire and there was concern for our secondary route. We had many ways we could go, so we knew we would get there but the question was how fast. We didn’t want to miss anything so we left a day early. I am glad we did. The situation was worse the following day.
We ended up passing 6 fires where we could see the smoke plum. Two of them we drove close enough to to see flames. We had been contemplating two different route once we were south of the border. Seeing a smoke plum over the city we were planning on going through caused us to take the other one. The following day that route was closed. Could we have made it through? We will never know the notice is always later than what actually happens on the ground.
The fire situation in Washington State is very dynamic right now. They lost three firefighters while we were down there. They have lost homes but the situation is too fluid to get a count. The video shows the fires as of Aug 26th. We would have passed through Omak,Wa and turned east. You can’t even see where the highway would be. The video give the best idea of the size of these fire that I have come across.
We stayed the night in the Red Lion Spokane. It was one of the convention hotels but not the one we had booked for the remainder of the trip. It meant that it had a cardboard cut out of the tenth doctor that I took a selfie with.
I went for a walk along the river and across into the convention center. The river area of Spokane is lined with parks, paths and pedestrian bridges. It is a jewel of the city. I managed to pick up my pass but I couldn’t pick my wife’s without identification. I got my bearings of the place and walked back to the hotel. Tomorrow gets more interesting.
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