It was a long week, but a good one. Sixteen people ages 14 to 70 headed out at 7:30 am last Saturday for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to work for a week. It was a very long drive - just over 12 hours including stops. As we were approaching the place we were to stay for the night Mother Nature was putting on a fabulous lightshow. In ordinary circumstances, it would have been gorgeous, but this night lightning strikes were causing fires and by the time we reached our destination, there was a fire too close to the place and they were evacuating people. (The picture is a beautiful sunset but the red near the ground is not attributable to the sun!) We had to turn around and go back to the town we'd just come through and play the waiting game. A few phone calls were made and soon we were headed to another town and a hotel. It wasn't exactly how we expected to spend our first night, but it was better than sleeping in the vans.
The next morning it was literally snowing ash. The fires had grown - we could actually see one from the parking lot of the hotel, but the place we were headed had been spared. That fire had been put out and we were headed back. When we got there we discovered that it had been a close call. The burn line was less than 20 feet from the back of the building and along the hillside behind, you could see hotspots that were still smoking. Here's a picture. The structure you can see is one side of the building we stayed in.
I hope everyone had a nice less-eventful time than we did and you are all enjoying whichever season you are currently experiencing. I'll be back during the week with more commentary about my trip and some trivia questions for my Adopting Alyssa contest.
Labels: mission trip, South Dakota