We arrived in San Diego late Saturday evening, Oct. 20. The next morning, we were able to get to Mission Beach for a quick swim in the Pacific Ocean and enjoy a short trip up the highway to La Jolla, Calif., where we noted a strange odor, like a big campfire.
The ride back to our resort in Escondido, Calif., was a smoke-filled adventure until we were about 10 miles from our destination and the skies returned to being blue and beautiful.
We were advised the following day to stay in the resort, where all was safe with clean air and plenty to do.
But Tuesday morning at 6:30, there was a pounding at our door. We were told we had two hours to evacuate -- to the north on Route 15 -- no direction other than that. After driving through the wildfires for about 20 or 30 miles, we came to the conclusion that with no reference point for help, nor direction as to where we were going, our best option seemed to be to come home. We found a place to turn around and drove south through the same fires and smoke to San Diego International Airport.
This photo was taken by my 10-year-old daughter, Molly, shortly after takeoff on the flight back to Baltimore. If you look to the lower left, you'll note the smoke and fires of Southern California.
Mike Schneider Reisterstown
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