Smoke and Art, part 1

Our smoky air is not nearly as dangerous and destructive as the fire that roared through Paradise (and continues to rage), but it is harmful enough that schools have been closed, outdoor events cancelled, and residents warned to stay indoors. That’s been going on for eight days.

By the time I headed out today, the Air Quality Index had improved to 88, putting it in the “moderate” zone (51-100) for the first time in more than a week. By the time I returned, the AQI had deteriorated to 147, making it “unhealthy for sensitive groups” (101-150.) Later in the day it worsened to 155, meaning “unhealthy.”

I intended to make my usual run out the Greenway and back just to stretch my legs. But, with my eyes and throat feeling the smoke, I changed my mind and ended up swinging through downtown and shortening the ride. That enabled me to snap some photos of local outdoor art for the Challenge of the Month. I’ve already photographed most of these on various other rides, but they’re all worth another shot.

Read more at Bill Bikes

They call me Old Grumble-Face. I have no idea why they do that....

9 response to "Smoke and Art, part 1"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 16, 2018

    Always enjoy photos of Santa Rosa.
    Im guessing the particulate matter is the main concern with the AQI — was just reading the link in your post.
    Doesnt look like the Camp fire will be contained anytime soon, but they are making progress.
    The fire fighters are an amazing group of people.

    Soooo, Ive always been curious about the Big Fish — thats a Steelhead/Rainbow trout? Associated with the Russian River?

    When our notable Roadside America cornstalk blew down it was scrapped — indicative of our interest in art here, oh well . . . .

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: November 16, 2018

      Rich, I think “the Big Fish” is a steelhead (also known as rainbow trout). Steelhead and coho salmon in the olden days would migrate from the Pacific Ocean, up the Russian River, through the Laguna, and up Santa Rosa Creek (along which the Greenway nowadays runs) in order to reach their spawning grounds. Not sure how many fish make it that far these days, but there is no doubt the situation is much improved since the creek was cleaned up and partly de-channelized.

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 17, 2018

        Oh! Got it now — I didnt realize the steelhead and coho would travel up Santa Rosa creek, makes perfect sense now — Thanks!

  2. By: NancyG Posted: November 16, 2018

    Indeed Bill, those pics are definitely worth another shot. Especially as I have not seen them in a post before. Seems Santa Rosa may be a place I should put on my list for when we visit Sacramento sometime. Not having a map of California (shame on me), I don’t know how close you are to Sacramento, but I can find out ;’-).

    Thinking about all of you who have been, and continue to be impacted by the fire and smoke.

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: November 16, 2018

      Santa Rosa is about a two-hour drive west of Sacramento. About an hour north of San Francisco. Less than an hour from the ocean. Santa Rosa and the surrounding Sonoma County really are a bicycling Mecca. Many visitors come here just to take advantage of the cycling. Compared to what serious, young, strong bicyclists do around here, my rides don’t even scratch the surface. We have terrific mountain biking venues (such as Annadel State Park), great road riding through vineyards and wineries, and some excellent bike paths. It only rains in the winter (if then), never snows, and and daytime highs almost always exceed 50°F, so the weather is practically always conducive to riding. Beyond local riding, a two- or three-hour drive in just about any direction opens up even more great cycling areas, including the home territories of Kathleen (Peninsula and South Bay) and Janet (Monterey and Carmel). I probably sound like I work for the Tourist Bureau, but when it comes to bicycling there aren’t many places where I would rather live.

      PS: Speaking of cycling venues, here’s something for the next time you suffer from insomnia:

      • By: NancyG Posted: November 17, 2018

        WHOA!!! That is quite a list. The number of rides is one thing, the journaling of all of them is something else!! I will indeed take a look at many of those journals and plan to do some exploring when we are down that way.
        Thanks Bill.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: November 16, 2018

    Interesting subjects always deserve more than one shot. I love to photograph the same things at diffferent times of day in different weather and in different seasons.

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: November 17, 2018

    I think if I were to ever ride there, I would have to search out the Pig Pen Peanuts statue. When I ride over here at the fly time of year, I feel like I’m Pig Pen only I’m trailing a cloud of flies instead of dirt.

    At least you’ve got some green grass in the mural if nowhere else.

  5. By: Scooter Posted: November 17, 2018

    I’ve been so saddened to read of the horrendous fire season Bill, and have been wondering how it has affected you. After last year’s disaster it must be very discouraging to you and everyone else in the region. Praying for rain for you!

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