On July 5, 2013, I left work early, and headed up to Garnet Peak in the Cleveland National Forest to start my weekend with a short hike. It was a picture-perfect day with blue skies and since it was Friday afternoon, there was absolutely no one on the trail. The only downside on that day was the weather: it was hot , and the wind that rushed out of the Anza-Borrego Desert felt like an open oven. I remember feeling some of the plants and they were dry . Everything was tinder dry - not good for July in San Diego, where fire season lasts until October, or even November in drought years. Since I couldn't make it rain for the plants, I did the only thing I could: appreciated the natural beauty around me. Although I didn't know it, I was probably the last hiker to hike that area before it burned (photos here). On July 6, 2013, what became known as the Chariot Fire started, and spread through that portion of the Cleveland National Forest due to those dry conditions and high winds.