I like the smell of a campfire. Today, the entire state of Washington (indeed, the entirety of ALL of the west coast states) is surrounded by the aroma of a nice campfire. No doubt it isn’t as strong of an aroma here in Spokane as it is in places closer to the sources of the burning wood.
Why is it that THIS odor isn’t so pleasant? (Why is it that I haven’t been struck down by a heavenly lightning bolt for making light of the situation?) One reason for the unpleasantness is probably that you can’t just walk a few feet away to get some fresh air. Another possible reason is that THIS smoke smells like it has some other gross stuff mixed in — like the exhalations of a million cigarette smokers. Like burning tires. Like property damage, human suffering, and even death.
Old Grumbleface sent me a link where I could get an up-to-the-hour update on Spokane’s Air Quality Index, and I’ve checked it several times this morning. At around 7:30 I took my dog for a walk and the level was 145, or in the category of “unhealthy for sensitive groups” The sky was clearly hazy but I couldn’t smell a thing.
Three hours later, the AQI was up to 167 which is at the low end of the “unhealthy” range. This afternoon the AQI will be over 200, which is considered “VERY unhealthy,” so I figured now is the time to get out for a short bike ride.
Now, it might sound kind of rebellious to go riding in unhealthy air, but I assure you it was much more rebellious of me to brush aside The Feeshko telling me she doesn’t want me riding my bike today. I knew the consequences would be a terrible tongue-lashing.
Nevertheless, when she and her mom headed out in the car, I snuck away. I smelled the smoke right away this time, but I HAD to ride at least a little bit for no other reason than to keep my streak alive. (An aside to Rich: no, it’s not THAT kind of streaking.)
Lucky for me I got back before The Feeshko and her mom, thereby avoiding a most horrible confrontation.
I just took Diggity for his second walk at 1:15. We made it one block before he wanted nothing more to do with that odor in the air. Back at home base, I checked the AQI again. It was 407 — HAZARDOUS — NODODY SHOULD BE OUTSIDE. What the bloody heck is going on here?