Bang and Flame

My Everest

In 2003 the biggest fire in the history of California burned a total of 280,000 acres. Since that event, California has changed its policies for fighting wildfires, including using more controlled burns and amping up its ability to respond. The Cedar Fire.

I had lived in my stone house in Descanso — my dream home — for a full five weeks. I’d moved there to be closer to the mountains and higher altitude hiking. But for those first five weeks I had spent my time trying to figure out my new life in my new house, moving in psychically and physically.


On October 25, 2003, I was finally ready for a real hike, so Ariel and I went up to the Lagunas to hike the Garnet Peak trail.

It was a splendid fall day. October is often one of the hottest months in San Diego County, but that day we…

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