Bear Valley lives up to its name.

We've been wondering if the McHugh Creek forest fire just south of us might drive any animals into our valley, and maybe it did.  Happened to look outside at just the right moment this morning to see a brown bear casually walking through the front yard.  We've seen a lot of black bears right around the house over the years, but never had a brown in the yard before.  Pretty cool.  Click images to view fullscreen.

A drive through the clouds

We decided to take a drive this afternoon over Hatcher Pass.  The road is only open during the summer.  The summit area was completely socked in, but some dramatic clouds on either side.  

Fire in the sky--and on the ground nearby.

A very hectic day here in Bear Valley.  Had to pack all of our artwork and sentimental valuables, computers, all that good stuff, and get ready to evacuate because of the McHugh Creek fire that's burning just a ridge and a couple of miles from us.  It exploded in size last night to around 500 acres.  I've got everything in totes ready to throw in the motorhome.  There's only one road leading into Bear Valley, so that could get interesting if we get an evacuation notice.  

So after all that drama today, we end up with this incredible sunset at 10:30pm.  Now we see what the night brings us.