Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Honorable Order Of Squirrels

Yesterday I received my Squirrel card. I climbed 10,710 feet to get it. The Deadman Lookout Station sits up high in the Roosevelt National Forest, and was used to guard against wild fires. It was first built of wood by the CCC in 1939. It was torn down in 1962 and replaced by this one. From the 55 foot metal tower you can see Rocky Mountain National Park to the south, Bald Mountain to the north, the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow and with binoculars, our house in Wyoming! Well, I THOUGHT I could see it.

I've always had an interest in fire lookouts. Most of the ones I've visited have been boarded up or just not officially being used anymore. Whether or not you can step inside one, the views from the platform are guaranteed to take your breath away. A volunteer was spending the Labor Day weekend in the Deadman lookout. It had been his fifth year on duty. He was knowledgable and patient, answering all my questions, showing us maps and instruments and sharing stories of all he sees from way up there. Just that morning, in the meadow down below, he had spotted a mama moose and her cinnamon babe. It is hunting season, so the Elk were in hiding.

The clouds in the distance were dark and rumbling. Lightning strikes the tower on occasion, but of course it's grounded, safe from danger. Even the bed in the cabin is grounded. I wondered what it would be like to spend a night in that tower. What I would see in that enormous sky in every direction, and what the early mornings are like. Peaceful, a little breezy, and a lot to see. I'm applying to volunteer there for next summer. For one day. To experience for myself, what it's like to spend the night at the Deadman Lookout. And once the visitor's conquer the windy and narrow catwalk to the top, I'd be more than happy to issue them their very own Squirrel card, as they promise to use the utmost CARE WITH FIRE IN THE WOODS. I'd like to know, what fire lookouts have you visited and where?

 

4 comments:

  1. Lovely scenery...I have visited none but have been to Roosevelt National Forest...you were in just the right place this past weekend...wishing you a lovely start to September. : )

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  2. Quite right. WY has been so scorched and hot, being in high elevation surrounded by pines was just what I needed. My aspens have already turned gold! I promised you a pic of that, didn't I? Soon... Meanwhile, here's wishing you and your boyz a lovely September, full of purrs and wonder.

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  3. I would love to stay in one overnight as well! That would be so cool. So now I'm curious where in Oklahoma we have fire lookouts,,, we deal with plenty of fires, hm...
    Yes, beautiful pictures - really enjoyed reading about this.

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  4. stay over night...oh yes i would so be into that
    I too have always been drawn to fire lookout stations, wondering what it would be like to wo-man one.....that was when I was a young girl

    what a great day!

    love and light

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