Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

When the Rising Eagle Road Fire broke out, Ken Bevis and Teri Pieper had only a few moments to collect their belongings and evacuate. They then left their house, not knowing what the outcome would be.

Their neighbors across the valley, however, had a great view of the fire and took photos detailing the helicopter water drops that put out the fire that raged in the woodpile just a few feet away from Ken and Teri’s house. When Ken saw the photos—one very clearly showing a water drop that doused the nearby fire and ultimately saved Ken and Teri’s house—he knew he had to find the pilot of the orange and white chopper, which he did, giving him a big handshake and a thank-you gift.

Meanwhile, Sarah Berns got a call from her husband, smokejumper manager Daren Belsby, who happened to be nearby for a meeting about the fires with Gov. Jay Inslee. Daren could see the fire in the Hoot N Holler area and called Sarah, who runs Spring Creek Ranch’s rental cabin in the neighborhood. Sarah, knowing that the bride who was renting the cabin for the weekend was tubing down the river with friends, immediately raced over to the cabin with the intention of saving the wedding dress and any other valuables she could grab.

The wedding dress, as it turns out, was safely up at Sun Mountain Lodge, where the rehearsal dinner and ceremony were to be held. The evacuation of Sun Mountain prevented either of these events from taking place on-site and the rehearsal-less wedding ended up taking place entirely at Spring Creek Ranch, with the added excitement of a windstorm ripping through the area just hours before the ceremony. They say you’ll always remember your wedding day and I suspect that is never more true than in the case of that particular couple.

Celestial Cinema is coming up next week (Aug 21 – 23) and this year more than ever the hope is that it provides a place for the community to get together and enjoy some distracting entertainment in a film festival atmosphere. With its proceeds donated to three area nonprofits, Celestial Cinema is an event that is beneficial as well as being unique, social, and fun. And no matter what the power situation is in the valley, founder Sarah Berns promises to have “generators and backup generators. This event will be powered,” she promises.

Happy 25th anniversary to Pam and Terry Hunt. Congratulations on two-and-a-half decades of making beautiful music together!