148.6 Spokane is dry in fall

It's dry here in Spokane in fall, much like in Southern California, where I'm from. We even have smog right now here in Spokane, from a big brush fire way out in Wenatchee. In an odd way, this comforts me and makes me feel at home. So Cal does have seasons; they are just not the seasons most people are used to: flood, fire, and fog. Fire season is just wrapping up, back home.

Those of you who live in wet climates look at the world in an entirely different way from those of us who live with fire seasons. This shocked me on two distinct occasions.

We moved to Forks, WA in September of 1996 so that I could teach math at Forks Middle School. I lasted at that two months and ended up finishing out the year as a floating substitute teacher at Forks High School. I really don't know how to deal with kids under 14 years old...

Anyway, back to the fire theme. It is really wet in Forks all the time, so people just do not fear fire, at all. One night when we were out driving around, we saw sparks leaping way up in the air. We drove over there to find a huge tower full of wood that was on fire. Alarmed, we got out of the car and ran over to help. We found a bunch of guys standing around, joking, smoking, and completely unconcerned.

We explained that we were from the deserts of California, where such a fire would bring the entire fire station over. These local guys explained this was business as usual for them, and that there was no danger at all that this fire would catch or spread. We were all pumped full of adrenaline from seeing it, and couldn't sleep for quite a while.

The other place I was shocked by unconcern over fire was Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was in a car with someone who flicked a lit cigarette butt out the window into a grassy hillside. I gasped out that I had driven by too many hillside fires from people doing that. The person laughed and explained that never happens in Minnesota. Again, I was full of adrenaline for an hour after that, pumped up either to fight the fire or run away from it, I'm not sure which.
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I lost 1.3 pounds yesterday. Oreo and I walked up into the hills, as you see in this picture I took up there yesterday with the camera's timer. Soon, that path will be covered in ice and snow. I didn't wear my pedometer, but I think we walked about 1.5 miles, 1/4 of that up a steep hill and 1/4 of it back down. Here is what I ate yesterday:
Special K and organic soy milk
1/4 cup peanut M&Ms
El Monterey beef and bean burrito with salsa
3 eggs scrambled with sauteed onion and red bell pepper, with cold salsa on top
Half a serving of Backpacker's Pantry freeze dried stew with chicken that Scott was trying to see if we want to bring it on our next backpacking trip (I thought it was good. He thought it was OK.)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I ran out of peanut M&Ms.)