Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 43

Today was the Fourth of July, and it was exhausting ...

Lori was helping organize the Sugar House Park fireworks and other activities in the community, It required a lot of work ... and some volunteers. We were up at 7 a.m. helping move garbage cans around the park. The city simply dropped 300 cans in a couple locations, and they needed to be put in certain spots. That took a couple hours and some trips uphill dragging cans, but with several people helping, we got the job done and headed home.

Ben and I participated in the neighborhood Fourth of July parade while Lori and Michael prepared for the rest of their day. The temperature began climbing. After a few hot dogs, we left the parade, and I took Ben and one of his friends to another Fourth of July gathering, this time in the backyard of some good friends of ours. The pool was perfect as the temperature passed 100.

We made it home by 7 p.m., and our family walked to Sugar House Park in advance of the fireworks. The organizers had a little VIP area cordoned off next to the fallout zone, and we grilled some Italians and hot dogs and waited for the fireworks to begin.

Then the chaos began. The organizers had rented a golf cart, and I took the boys in it for one lap around the park. It was crowded. People seemed a little cranky -- they had been waiting in the heat all day, and they were ready for night to fall and the fireworks to begin. Then, people started launching their own fireworks, even though that was illegal. One landed on the other side of the fence, on the dry grass next to the expressway, and started a blaze about 400 yards away from us. This was a mini inferno, and almost at the same time, the fireworks began ...

Turns out, we were in the fallout zone. The fire marshal moved us, but about a minute later, something landed on the other side of the expressway again, and another blaze started. We moved away from it and were about 150 yards away. Michael got some great video of a tree just exploding into flame. But the fire burned itself out quickly.

The fireworks were OK. There were a lot of drunk morons in the park. We usually aren't in the park itself for the fireworks, so we miss most of the obnoxiousness. The long day of heat didn't help. The fireworks ended, and we couldn't get out of the park soon enough. The walk home felt long, but we finally made it, only to hear more fireworks set off well past 11 p.m. Thus ended a Fourth of July we won't forget.

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