Friday, October 26, 2007

Lyons Valley Trading Post

By Thursday afternoon, much of life where I am has returned to normal. This being one of my regular days off, I sleep in past 8am, then leisurely go for coffee.

Most of my friends have checked in with me and I with them, my mind is at ease that the church is still standing and untouched by the flames in Rancho Bernardo, the fires on San Miguel mountain are under control, and my neighborhood is no longer in danger. But the weight that still remains on my heart is at Lyons Peak.

Wednesday night the fires spread back to the east, out toward Honey Springs Road and the Skyline Truck Trail, where I take one of my favorite road rides.

Periodically on Thursday, I scan the forums and blogs, looking for information about the Lyons Valley general store, knowing they battled a fierce fire battle the night before, but I find nothing. I had stopped by Rohr Park after getting coffee to ask Dave and Dana if they had any news from there. No, they hadn't heard anything, but knew the fires had swept through there and consumed most of it. Yes, I had heard that too.

Then late Thursday afternoon, I come across this article...

'This store is the heart of the community'

Posted @ 4:18 PM

In the midst of the Harris fire chaos a little thing like the reopening of the Lyons Valley Trading Post brings back a sense of normalcy to this small community.

As soon as the locks came off the trading post and the doors were thrown open it was a calming sense for Teresa Arden. Arden is one of the valley's residents who did not leave in the face of the fire.

The trading post is her lifeline. It is where she shops, but more importantly, in the days of fires and evacuations, it is where she gets her news.

"This store is the heart of the community," she said, moments after store owner Bob Johnston popped open the locks.

Arden immediately grabbed an energy drink, settled into the store and started talking with friends.

Just behind Arden were firefighters and a handful of residents who eagerly scooped up drinks and snacks.

It pleased Johnston to see his neighbors … and to lend a helping hand.

"I couldn't keep the store closed," he said. "People have to have a place to come for news and for each other."

-- David Hasemyer

I can't believe it. I read it again. And suddenly much of the stress and emotion that I had kept bottled up within me bursts, and I sink into my chair and collapse in heaving sobs. It is still there. They made it.

With tears streaming down my face, such that I can hardly see, I post a comment to the blog:

Thank you for posting this. When I first moved to San Diego in Jan 04, I began training for a triathlon. One of the rides we would take was from Eastlake to Honey Springs to Lyons Valley, back to the 94. How many times have I been climbing Honey Springs Rd, knowing that if I could just make it to Four Corners, then to the store, I would make the ride. It became not only a destination, but a physical representation of determination.

I've been watching the news so closely... wanting to know it were still there, asking anyone I knew for updates on Lyons Peak, and fearing the worst.

Knowing the store is still there, still thriving... well, it's like finding out the friend you thought might have perished is still there waiting for you. I'm a mess for all the tears running down my face in relief. And as soon as I can, I'll be back there on my bike. :)

May God bless and protect the firefighters and all of you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

October 25, 2007 5:12 PM

Only after I post do I notice the date of the report, not just the time. It was from Wednesday, the day before the fires swept over Lyons Peak. Crestfallen, but still optimistic, I contact one of the editors of, and ask him to please find out if the store is still there. It would be just too painful to leave my comments up if it were gone.

I hear back from him in just moments via email.

Hi Laura,
I just spoke with a reporter who stopped by the store today.
It is open for business and survived the fires.

I breathe, and cry again.

Writing all of this now, I'm shaken with doubt again, because I know the fire was really intense up there. Just to verify, I google them and send an email. I hope to hear from them soon.

Till I can transfer the ride report to this site, here is my ride report on

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