Monthly Archives: August 2006

Where there’s…

…smoke there's fire.

I had an interesting drive from Dallas to Wichita today.  As I headed north on Interstate 35, I started seeing smoke on the horizon just north of the Texas / Oklahoma border.  Just north of Thackerville, OK traffic was stopped in both lanes. I sat in almost exactly the same place for an hour.  During the first 45 minutes, traffic continues to progress in the south-bound lanes.  I could see flames in the distance and saw numerous firetrucks and assorted emergency vehicles headed past my location toward the source.  There was also a considerable amount of aerial activity.

Then, the smoke plumes increased in size.

Oklahoma Fire

I got tired of sitting there (and I was running low on fuel) so I turned around and headed south.  Fortunately, highway 77 intersected with I 35 just south of where I stopped.  I jumped off of south-bound 35 and headed back north on 77 figuring it would either intersect back into 35 or at the very least run into a town where I could ask how to get back to the interstate.

Many other vehicles had followed the same path, but I'm fairly sure I was one of the last.  I was on 77 for less than a mile before I saw flames very close to the side of the roadway.  I've never seen a prairie / brush / tree fire close up.  I was a little more concerned when I saw a group of firemen run across the road and passed three police cruisers heading south at a high rate of speed.

Then, I got into the heavy stuff.  I considered stopping to snap a couple of quick pictures with my phone, but I'm glad I didn't.  I rounded a bend in the highway and the flames were up to the shoulder.  I was fortunate that the road quickly curved in the opposite direction.

I had less than a mile before I was clear of the fire and smoke on the north side.   I took the pictures below from the north side looking south right at the junction of 77 with 35.

ok fire

ok fire

I got back on the Interstate and headed north towards OKC. 

Let me take a moment…

…and shamelessly promote Austin Homebrew Supply .

Hands down, the best homebrew / wine making store I've ever known.  Good people, great product, and fantastic shipping prices.  Seriously, where else are you going to get $5.99 shipping on any order?

AHS does good volume, so you can be assured that their ingredients are quality.  They haven't been sitting on a shelf for months.  These folks know wine making and homebrewing down to a science.  They know that ingredients can make all the difference between a beer you want to share with your friends and one that goes down the drain.  And, they make sure you get the best.  Service, ingredients, and knowledge. 

I've only been homebrewing for a couple of years.  But, I've ordered from multiple online storefronts.  AHS is the best, without question.  I've ordered kits, individual ingredients, and brewing gear from them.  I have always been absolutely pleased with the quality and price of the things I have ordered from AHS.

I was fortunate to visit the actual AHS storefront this week.  These visits further enforced my impression of AHS.  The store is well organized, clean, and operated efficiently.

I am excited to go back to Kansas and brew the two kits I purchased.  As an added bonus, I found that they have cobalt blue swing top bottles in both half and full litres.  I didn't see them on the website, but the were in the store.  I haven't found them anywhere else online.

Thanks to the fine folks at AHS.