The devastation starts on the western slope. Many of the cabins that once lined the highway between here and Sacramento are now gone. Instead, brick and stone chimneys stand sentinel, visible through blackened toothpick trees that dot the mountainsides. Gray ash on the ground blends with the towering granite cliffs of Lovers Leap. Lines between the dirt path of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and the charred forest surrounding it are blurred.
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