We chose Moon Lake To experience the wilderness last week, although we slept in a rustic cabin. How I had looked forward to this trip. There is nothing as pristine as the clean, cool air in the High Uintah Mountains in Utah. The hundred mile range receives over 500 inches of snow annually. It is a scenic, alpine view of grassy meadows sprinkled with wild flowers, mountain peaks, over a thousand lakes, and many cold clear streams.
From the front porch of the cabin we could see Moon Lake, tall log pole pines, and quakening aspen. While morning and evenings are cool the cabins heat up in the day without air conditioning, but cool off as the breeze blows through open windows.
The cabins are about 30 feet a part, so imagine my dismay when the campers next to us started a daytime camfire and the smoke drifted through our cabin windows. I have asthma so we closed all the windows and hiked to Duck Creek which is one of the outlet streams that flows into Moon Lake and there are no campsites.
From Duck Creek we drove to various streams that are South of Moon Lake. I have a passion for sitting in the shade by a babbling Brook or a rushing stream. We returned to the cabin and again hiked to Duck Creek and up the trail that leads around the East side of Moon Lake when it started to rain. We made it back to the cabin before it started to hail--one inch of hail in ten minutes. After the storm, the camfires started again and burned until after 2 a.m. I had some difficulties breathing even though the windows were closed. The cabins are not airtight.
Campfires are supposed to be romantic, charismatic, and so fun to roast marshmallows. As a child I loved campfires. So what's wrong with me other than having a difficult time breathing? Why the humbug?
Campers sitting around a campfire can move away from the smoke, but neighors sitting in a log cabin have to endure it.
The contents of that fire are more dangerous than people think. In an article on BurningIssues.org, Ken Cott sites the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who estimate that wood smoke is 12 times more carcinogenic than equal amounts of tobacco smoke and stays active in the body 40 times longer.
Children appear to be at the greatest risk of health conditions such as respiratory infections and acute bronchitis