March 16th, 2007


pleasures of the senses // life

So, for those who don't know (non-locals and a few locals who don't look up to the sky much) we had a rather large fire here in Sacramento yesterday. I'm serious when I include the locals who don't look up category, here's what the smoke cloud looked like from about 2.5 miles away after only a minute or two and after about 10 minutes.

So, that railroad trestle was made of wood soaked in this stuff (the coal-tar variety) which smelled of oil, grease, and . . . 'industry'. It had such a wonderful, beautiful smell to it that I made a point to stop whenever I would be on the part of the bike trail that went under it. I would just sit there and breathe deeply, savoring that aroma. This morning all of Sacramento smells like that. My entire commute in this morning has been permeated by this ever-present smell. It's a great way to start the day, but in a way it is also rather sad. I'm saddened because I can guess that they will likely rebuild the destroyed section with something less flammable. A perfectly reasonable choice, don't get me wrong, and one that I would likely do myself in their position. But stopping under that railroad trestle, during a nice bike ride on a warm sunny day, and resting in the cool shade and breathing in those delightful fumes was always a highlight of my rides. I guessed it was likely not very healthy to sit there and let my lungs steep in the air under that railroad stretch, but I didn't care. There are some times that you simply must accept some level of risk to gain a level of enjoyment out of life.