Mountain Shadows has been our neighborhood for the past three years and almost two weeks ago, a major wildfire destroyed many homes around us. We were evacuated for just under a week and we were lucky to have a home to come back to. Many other people were evacuated for much longer and hundreds lost their homes. It’s sobering to see all the homes destroyed when driving our usual route up Chuckwagon Road and on Flying W Ranch Road. A lot of the hills are charred around us as well and serves as a constant reminder of the tragedy. The Waldo Canyon trail was also a favorite to many, and I’m glad that the husband and I hiked there together.
All utilities were shut off for some time throughout Mountain Shadows. We had to throw everything out of our fridge and freezer and that alone was hard enough. Many of you know how much I try to support local farmers, make my own things, etc. So yes even though I’m extremely grateful that we got out safely, throwing out all that food was still difficult. I think the impact of this event will stick with many of us for a long time.
We visited our local farmers market in the morning to restock our kitchen with some good things to eat. I made meals for the first time yesterday, since we’ve been trying to support as many local restaurants as possible. Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City, Green Mountain Falls, Woodland Park, and places in between with businesses should be thriving since it’s summertime, but the wildfire has impacted profits. The husband and I have always felt strongly about trying to support local businesses as much as we can, but it’s even more important during a time like this.
Not only are businesses hurting, but so are people who have been directly affected by this fire, such as families who have lost their homes and everyone who is just trying to get a little bit of normalcy back into their lives. Care and Share Food Bank is doing something amazing with all the generous donations from people in the community. On July 20-21, they are offering a free market for people who have been affected, more information here.
We’ve been trying to help as much as we can and there is still more that I’d like to do. This is our last year in Colorado Springs and this experience has solidified the things that are most important to us. If you would like to help with the wildfire relief efforts, please visit Help Colorado Now to find out how. You can also purchase t-shirts from Wildfire Tees, Heal Colorado, and you can purchase cards to donate to firefighters from Card Gnome. Pikes Peak Community Foundation has also set up a Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund. I came across a bake sale for Colorado Wildfire relief as well, if anyone is interested in participating.
As of right now (Saturday 7 July, 1:30ish p.m.) Waldo Canyon Wildfire is at 98% containment. Incredible.