One quiet, peaceful and cold afternoon, Becky and I were soaking in the lower spring alone, when all of a sudden we hear a sonic boom and then we look right above us through the trees to see an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet plane zooming right above us! We jump out of the warm water and run out into the open desert floor. The jet is doing about 800 mph and flying about fifteen feet over our heads! He flew straight up and then did a bunch of flips and turns. We had our own personal air show! The pilots are from Ridgecrest out of China Lake Naval Weapons Center, in the Mojave Desert where they land the space shuttles.

I can't tell you how utterly awesome it was driving across the desert valley with the wind blowing through my long brown hair, the warm sun shining on my face and the tall mountains surrounding me. It was so dreamlike and unreal at times that I was really here, and I didn't have to leave. This was my valley, my home.

Now, you want to talk about partying! This was the party of the century that lasted up to two weeks long. I'm not sure how many people came out to the valley for this, but it had to be at least around 100. They were parked all around the spring, some with tents, others with trailers. Some camped on the grass by the lower spring and campfire under the trees, but there was no lack of room out there. Others hung out at the Upper Spring and had their own separate party up there. But we would go to both springs and visit everyone. We loved meeting and talking to people who came from all around. Most people at the upper springs never went to the lower and visa versa, so we got to know quite a few of both groups.

Finally we got home up at Hunter Canyon and it is early evening by then. The sheriff sits down at our kitchen table and gets a full report from Frank on what occurred, while I am busily putting all the groceries away. He looks at me and says, "You realize that you have to go over to him and tell him that he is under arrest, don't you?" I freaked! "No, I thought you guys were going to do that part!" I said. "To be a citizen's arrest, you have to do it," he says. Ok, at that point, I got the tequila out, which I had just bought a whole entire gallon of. I thought the only way I can do this is if I am good and drunk! I made myself a big Tequila Sunrise drink.

As I was looking through the binoculars, the fire exploded into a much bigger fire. I actually saw it explode! My heart jumped into my stomach, " You're right! That is not garbage burning, that's my home and it just exploded and my husband Frank, and my son, Myion are up there!"

I'm laying on my back at the foot of the mountain watching the fire wondering what was happening up there. It was all so surreal! I looked up at the stars in the sky and I felt as if I was in a dream and this wasn't really happening. Then I thought, "It is happening and my baby could be dead up there!" I jumped up and got back on my bike. I was kick starting it over and over and it wouldn't start. I kept kicking it, knowing it was probably just flooded and it couldn't do this to me now! I was thinking, "Come on, bike, please start!"

The next day we found out that there were people and families with kids stuck up in the south pass! Most, if not all had regular two-wheel drive cars without chains and no four-wheel drive. We heard some had tried to walk out and some got lost and some were even missing! People were sitting in their cars, hoping someone might come along and help them. There were Search and Rescue parties up there looking for people. All I could think was that I wished they had listened to me! There was no way any of us could go up there to help them, since we were all stuck in the mud and would be for a while until it dried up somewhat.

Meanwhile, here is this ugly-looking guy bleeding from a shotgun wound delivered in an act of self-defense, in the most peaceful, wonderful valley in the whole world! We certainly didn't feel any sympathy for him, nor any desire to help stop the bleeding. After all, what if we did go in the truck to try to help him, and then he attacked one of us? I mean the guy was obviously crazy! After several hours, the helicopter finally arrived just before sunset and hauled the guy off.

 

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