Friday, May 11, 2007

Island Fire

I certainly hope my blog doesn't turn into a fire report as 2007 continues. However, two days after Griffith Park, Catalina is on fire.

Catalina Island is a resort island about 30 miles off the coast of California – twenty six miles, if you want to sing about it. When Marianne and I moved to Los Angeles, we spent our first Thanksgiving there. We sailed to the island with a neighbor and had thanksgiving dinner on the boat, before going ashore and spending a day. I've been back a few times since – camping, or a sailing destination.

The island is a magical one. By Ferry, you can get to it from the mainland in about forty minutes. Once there, you're a million miles away from reality, though you're still technically in Los Angeles County. Some tourists have asked if they use American Currency – that's how different it feels. No cars, just golf carts, and only two small towns – Avalon and Two Harbors. The rest of the island is wild. There are trails you can walk or bike (provided you have a bike permit and proper tires) but for the most part, it's inaccessible.

Now it's on fire. As I write this, they say 4000 acres are burning. Though the town of Avalon is a concern, I wonder about all the wildlife. Buffalo roam the island as do all kinds of other animal you won't find anywhere. The Wrigleys (who originally owned the island) have an amazing cactus garden there. Will that survive?

It doesn't take long to destroy.

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