We’ve seen a lot of smoke and haze in our area as of late.
As most of you know, the smoke is coming down from numerous fires well up in Canada.
While it has caused some folks with respiratory issues to have some problems, it has also given us some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
In addition, the smoke has sparked a particular memory of mine from years ago.
I was living in Albany, Georgia at the time and there were massive wildfires in the southern part of the state and northern Florida.
We would experience smoke in our city from time to time despite being a couple hundred miles away.
At times the visibility would drop below a quarter of a mile at times in smoke.
On one particular day, I took a trip down to Saint Petersburg, Florida to see Michelle.
When I left Albany, I headed east towards I-75.
The smoke was bad, and it only got worse as I approached the interstate.
By the time I got to I-75, the visibility was fluctuating between about a quarter mile and three quarters of a mile.
Heading south is when things started to get a bit more interesting.
In a few spots, the fire was very near the road and was visible even through the thick smoke.
Further south, as I crossed into Florida, it began to rain a bit.
So then I had both rain showers and smoke to deal with.
And as I made my way further down the road, the smoke decreased and the rain increased.
By the time I reached Saint Petersburg, it was raining heavily and the winds were howling.
A tropical storm was rolling in.
It wasn’t too bad until I reached the last 7 or 8 miles of the trip when I had to cross the Howard Frankland Bridge.
The winds were blowing across the bridge and gusting to 60 or 65 MPH.
My little car was getting blown all over the place.
At the end of the bridge, waves were crashing not far from the roadway and spraying sea water all over.
Man, talk about a white-knuckle ride.
Finally, I made it to her place…and I got drenched running the 20 or 30 yards to her door through sideways rain.
It was a very interesting trip going from very dry and smoky conditions to an absolute deluge.
Now I can say I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.
I just happened to do that in a single 6 hour road trip.