Though the fire was at least 10 miles away it looked like it was just across the Colorodo River from the hotel.
As we made our way out on 71 we weren't sure how far out the fire was and if our normal route home would be accessible.
We decided we would head that direction for a short ways, and if it looked too bad we would turn around and head back and find an alternate route.
We hadn't gone more than a couple of miles when it was obvious that we would need to find another way home. The smoke from the fire spread across the entire horizon almost as far as the eye could see.
It was like a wall - rising untold stories into the air.
As we exited to turn around some 8 or more miles from the fire we practically had to crane our necks out the front window to even find more than a glimmer of blue sky left.
Luckily we had no problem heading back towards Austin, cutting over to 290, and making our way back home. On our drive we repeatedly searched the radio stations for updates on the fire, and road closures. Despite the late hour we didn't want to stop to eat until we were well on the other side of the line of the fires. As the road twisted and turned we more than once wondered if we would be able to make it through as it appeared as if the road was headed straight for the leading edge, if not behind the furious pace of the fire. Luckily as the road wound it's way closer to home the fires were still well off to the South and we had no problem getting home.
15 or so miles from our house we did see several police cars blocking a road north bound, and had assumed there was some sort of accident. Imagine our surprise when we got home, got the kids to bed, and then turned on the tivo'd news wondering if they would even have a snippet of the Bastrop fires to see that the news did indeed lead off with a segment on wildfires - only the fires they mentioned were less than a dozen miles away up straight up 249 in the Magnolia area. And the roadblock we had seen was likely traffic being blocked from heading North into the line of the fires.
Ironically when we got home after we got the kids in bed I turned on the tivo'd news and immediately saw the fire. Thinking it was the Bastrop fire I called Kevin to come watch. But as soon as we turned the show on we noticed that the fire being