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Newsletter

November 2019   Volume 9 / Issue 11

Editorial

     

From the desk of the Editor

Hi Friends of RKA,

We have two scheduled events one was canceled on October 26th WHILE IN PROGRESS, and will be rescheduled hopefully sooner than later, see below.
Click here for updates
The second is our 19th annual food drive on Saturday November 23rd Yawl be there!!
Click here for the full information page

The rest of this Newsletter is a “Special Edition” about “The Kincade Fire” which almost took us out!

MANDATORY EVACUATION LEAVE WINDSOR NOW!!

This is what we heard on everyone’s cell phone all at the same time in the Eurocycle Sonoma parking lot about 10:30 AM on Saturday October 26th!

Let’s back up to Wednesday the 23rd at 9:27 PM, A fire started up by the “Geysers Thermal Plants” off of “Kincade Road” about 20 miles north east of us. At that time no concern for our immediate safety.

But then on Friday the 25th it got literally “Wild”, ZERO containment and grew to a massive size but still a ways away from us. We got an evacuation warning …. Just a warning.

Then the winds really accelerated and by Saturday we were getting a little worried but continued to setup and start the Eurocycle Sonoma open house.

That’s when we heard “MANDATORY EVACUATION LEAVE WINDSOR NOW!!”

The image, message, and interview below were seen and done AFTER we returned to WIndsor on Thursday October 31st.
The first CHILLING realization was in the message from Deb Fudge when she said:
"Dominic and I were in the emergency operations center when we got the news that WIndsor might not be saved"
The second was when Chief Heine in the interview speaks of standing along Hwy 101 defending that line. Arata Lane is only blocks from our home!

The whole interview, about 9:00 minutes long is chilling, this part is about 1:55 to 3:00 into the podcast.


This was a very serious fire so

Lets start from left to right with the image and message from our Town Council member Debra Fudge.

Then a Podcast with Sonoma County Fire District Fire Chief Mark Heine


Back to Saturday morning.

Although the RKA shop was only a few blocks away and our home a couple of miles Kathy and I were totally out of sync to evacuate! Sprinter, RT, F800R, tent, product, all at the dealership, trailer, car at home.

Kathy road her F800R home and lowered the door on the trailer, got the kitties in their travel cage and started getting essentials ready to load in the Sprinter.

Meanwhile I got everything except the tables into the van and then released the tent from the van and pulled it out so I could drive out.

Once home Kathy drove me back to the dealership and I got my RT and rode it back home.
Then I hooked up the trailer, loaded the motorcycles and a couple of bicycles while Kathy loaded cloths and such, and of course the kitties, and away we went.

Kathy went to the shop and call forwarded the phone to my cell, I went back to the dealership and the kids there helped me load the tent and tables, Kathy appeared in the car and we were of to the freeway heading south. Kathy stayed right behind the rig and we talked back and forth using our FRS radios usually used for spotting the trailer at an event or lining up the trailer hitch.

I got a call from Rob & Chris’s to go to their place in Santa Rosa, so we did and were invited to stay there.

But we decided to go toward Williams about halfway to my Sister and Stepdad in Redding, CA. Rob & Chris had to evacuated Sunday!

We stayed at a Econo Lodge Saturday and Sunday, For some reason got a handicapped room and the bathroom was a perfect Kittie room, above....

We got this message on our phones, eventually becoming a MANDATORY EVACUATION for Santa Rosa, AND everyone west of Windsor to the coast thirty miles away. At this point we were sure our business and home would be gone. so, Monday went on up to Redding when we understood there was no going home in the near future.


We stayed at my Stepdad Howie’s and his extra bedroom was our new home for us and the kitties .

Peele is still very ready to go home.

Monday, Tuesday Wednsday went by like molasses, then Wednesday night they lifted the evaluation and we were able to “Repopulate” to our homes which means literally we could return to a home that was still there, and not burned out rubble.

So, our little troop was in Redding until Thursday morning and left for home via Hwy 20 has hwy 29 was not an option and was still a burn area.

We figured no electric or gas but we would be home. We stopped in Ukiah at the Walmart and stocked up on a few things.

THE X. This is maybe not what you want to see on your sidewalk but here is THE X  left by the National Guard checking and patrolling the neighborhood.

 

 

 

 

 

The Kitties were very happy to be home.
Here is an overview so you can see how it unfolded from the air.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Our paper deliver person left the whole week of newspapers, so we got all the headlines!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kathy and I want to make this understood …. Our little story is trivial compared to others in the line of the fire, we were the lucky ones and there were some people that lost everything, and we feel for them very very much. I wanted to share this terrifying adventure with you all. It was terrifying to us and I could never convey how the people that were really impacted feel. The winds reached 90mph at times, moving the fire at a really high rate of speed and threw embers out in front of itself.

Just look at the after photo of the foothills residential area

If the fire passed that “LINE IN THE SAND” it would have definitely taken out Windsor and maybe even gone all the way to the coast thirty miles away! Below is the LINE IN THE SAND in the foothills of Windsor


Image by Tom Ronnie
 
I wish there was more we could say about the SUPERHERO firefighters ..... We still have a home! Thank you
After the danger was over it got a little crazy .... We get welcomed back
   
I held off posting the Newsletter by one day so I could add these images of our impromtu celebration Sunday, The Town of Windsor was invited to the green to take a THANK YOU photo. Even had free hot dogs, Mamosas & Bloody Mary's and the BIG ladder truck there.
Our little Town of Windsor is something else!!

Letters


NOTE: These read from the bottom up just like an email would read.

Unbelievable caring! We cannot print them all for the Newsletter but here are few….


Hi Dick,
Thanks for thinking of us.
We have left Dodge.
At a motel in Williams trying to figure out which direction to go.
R&K

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick R
Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2019 8:38 AM
To: info@rka-luggage.com
Subject: Windsor fire.

Richard and Kathy:
Are you safe with the Windsor fires?
Dick Rome
Sent from my iPhone


John,
Well....crap!!!!
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
You are always in our thoughts.
Hang in there!
John P
Ford Product Trainer

> On Oct 27, 2019, at 7:29 AM, Kathy Storin <kathy@rka-luggage.com> wrote:
>
> Hi John,
> Setting in a motel in Williams CA at 5:00 AM Sunday trying  to find
> out if our home is going to survive We got a few things and had time
> to load the motos, bicycles and most important our kitties,
> We will stay here today and tonight and see which direction to go,
> HOME or on to family in Redding,
>
> Thanks for your thoughts
> R&K
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Phelps <jdp_shooter@hotmail.com>
> Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2019 4:28 PM
> To: richard@rka-luggage.com
> Subject: Ya'll be safe!!!!
>
> We are thinking about you two.
> Hang in there!
> All the best,
> John P
> Ford Product Trainer


Hey Richard.
My wife and I have been tracking the fires. I've been thinking about you Kathy. Hope you're okay!
Gord H
Kelowna, B.C. Canada,

Phill B
Are you guys ok in all this mess?
Phill
Sent from Xfinity Connect Application
-----Original Message-----

From: richard@rka-luggage.com
To: phill@t.net


From: Christopher D
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2019 2:25 PM
To: Richard Battles <richard@rka-luggage.com>
Subject: Thinking of you!

Richard,
Are you and Kathy (and the cats) threatened by the Kincade fire? Did you have to evacuate?
Seems unbelievable that another huge fire is threatening so soon after the Tubbs fire…
Hoping you are ok, brother!

Christopher


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Schedule

We have a couple of events left check them out on the Schedules page

EuroCycle open house (Rescheduled)
19th Annual Sonoma Raceway Food Dr


Life Explained