Monday, November 17, 2008

Again With the Burning?

My weekends have been pretty nuts recently. I think going to school during the week makes the rest of life look hectic since I spend a lot of time sitting on my kiester staring at a computer screen or text book. Here's how this past weekend went down:

Worked until 1 Friday and headed home to pack and clean since I'd be heading to Ventura (more on that later) and Holly's parent's were heading down for her half marathon. We crashed early.

Saturday morning we got up early and finished the cleaning/packing and I hit the road for Mom and Dad's in the OC. I took my bike (SS 29'er) with plans of hitting 2 laps at Fullerton Loop since it's flat and I could take it easy before my Ranger/Lifeguard Cadet test Sunday. When I hit Mission Viejo, I could see a huge smoke plume form a brush fire. I called my Dad who said it was in the Santa Ana canyon. Since the smoke was blowing west (over Fullerton!) I made a quick decision and headed for Santiago Canyon instead.

I parked at Cook's Corner and hit Santiago Truck Trail, The Luge and Whiting Ranch. The damage fom last year's fires was bad, but I was stoked to have the area open again. Climbing all that stuff on the SS was harder than I had planned on riding, but at least I wasn't eating smoke.

I finished the ride and headed over the hill towards Mom and Dad's in Yorba Linda...yeah...a little city you've probably never heard of until this past weekend.

...and there's thick smoke everywhere, light ash falling from the sky and the unmistakable odor of homes burning. I can't describe the difference between brush fire and structure fire, it's just different. I walk in the front door and it's all over the news how homes in East YL are on fire. Really surreal watching your own city on TV. My brother, sister and I all grew up there, so there's little doubt that some of our friends may have been evacuated...or worse.

I couldn't help but feel guilty as we ate dinner that night. There we were eating Moms tasty Roast Beef while people quite literally ran for their lives only a few miles away. Again, surreal is the only way I can describe it. Mom and Dad put their important papers in a single box in case the evacuation order came. Thier house is a few miles from the hills where the fre started, but the high winds and unpredicability had us all on edge.

We went to bed half expecting a knock on the door, but it never came, fortunately.

I woke up ridiculously early Sunday morning and hit the road at 5, heading for Ventura. Made it there with plenty of time to spare, signed in, got my wetsuit on and lined up with the rest of the wanna-be Lifeguard/Rangers. No fanfare...just Perm Guard Peabody with a stopwatch..."GO"!

Cold water, and way less fighting for feet than a tri. These guys swim fast and I wound up on my own, but started reeling in the guys that went too hard early on. I got close to the bouy and smacked head-first into someone coming the other way...sorry, dude. I rounded the bouy and realized the breeze was way stronger than I thought as I wound up eating chop the whole way back to the beach. Anyway...I hit the beach and checked my watch:17:20. Sucky, but under the 20-minute cut-off.

The 200-400-200 went much better since swimmers don't run so well. I made up a lot of positions on the last run since guys were gassed. Time: 8:10. Pass.

After that, I got soe food in me and then over to the Ranger physical agility testing: super-easy if you just workout a few times a week and stay away from McD's chicken nuggets. I digress.

Physical Agility: Pass.

I met with one of the background investigators, drove back to Mom and Dad's (fire now burning somewhere else), raided their 'fridge and passed out at 10; 18-hours after I got up.

I slept in this morning (I deserved it!), raided Mom and Dad's fridge again (they left for Vegas Sunday after I left for Ventura) and moseyed on back to SD. Busy weekend...

Rumor has it that background investigations start in early December and the academy could start as early as June. Whoa.



Luke said...

i hope it all goes well for ya bro! you are a prime candidate!

Ryan Weeger said...

Sounds like it went well. I'm pulling for you.

Pedal Circles said...

Congrats on passing the physical stuff! Hope it works out.

Big Rig said...

I had McD's chicken nuggets for lunch today. Don't judge me.