This past weekend we took off to work on one of Jack’s research projects in Bishop, Calif., which is nestled in a valley between the Eastern Sierras and the White mountains. Beeeeautiful!
En route to Bishop, on Highway 395, and seemingly in the middle of nowhere, there’s a spot along the road with all of these t-shirts hanging on a barbed wire fence. What in the world?
There was a little memorial monument with an American flag flickering next to it, so we quickly pulled over to check it out. Turns out in 2002, a C-130 crew crashed and died while fighting a fire in the tiny town of Walker. Jack says he remembers the incident because it grounded all U.S. fire fighting aircraft to retool for safety, even up in Alaska, where he was at the time, and where fighting fires is a pretty big deal.
All those t-shirts are from fire departments all over the U.S. Additionally there are patches and paraphernalia left by other fire fighters to pay their respects.
It’s amazing what you see if you bother to stop and look.