There's a lot of beautiful country in the Pike national forest. It's over a million acres and covers seven counties, and it's only one of the many national forest in Colorado. It offers all of the boondocking, trail riding, hunting and fishing, hiking, and exploring you could ever want and it's all public land.
Of course there's a bad side to everything that's good, for instance that mountain in the background used to be covered with trees but a forest fire came along and wiped It out, which is one of the downside to living near the National Forest. What you see here are some of the scars from the Hayman fire. An arsonist started the Hayman fire in 2002 and it burned almost 140,000 acres, it was the largest forest fire in Colorado history. Over 5000 people had to evacuate including my family and I. Fortunately the firefighters stopped it before it got to my town.
They say it takes over 100 years for the forest to come back to life after a fire in Colorado, things grow very slowly here. the Hayman fire happened about 17 years ago and the burn area is hardly any different than when I drove through it a couple of weeks after the fire. I went through another evacuation during the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012, which though smaller, for a while was the most destructive fire in Colorado history. This fire got within a mile of my house. These two events played a big part in my decision to be a full-timer and never again have my entire life anchored in one spot.
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