Paradise resident Allen Weidner was on his way home from the bottom of the Sherwin Grade when he saw flames shooting into the early evening sky on Nov. 7.
He shot up the hill, fearing the worst. The flames were immense, leaving little doubt this was more than a simple, easily stopped fire and from what he could see, it was either his home or his next-door neighborâ€™s.
When he got to the ring of fire trucks and emergency vehicles, he almost turned around right there.
Under a canopy of gray skies, with rain and snow pierced by occasional shafts of sunlight, the Mammoth Track held its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Some last-minute finishes remain before it becomes a fully functional facility, but the surface and infield were in great shapeâ€”enough for a victory lap by scores of runners and community members.
The track closed again right after the ceremony near the Whitmore Ballpark on Benton Crossing Road, but it will reopen soon to the public, pending certification.
Even so, the ceremony was altogether fitting.