Have you ever thought about how interesting it might be to be one of the lookout tower employees of the USFS where your only real job was to watch for fires and stay alive? I have a grand view of watching the sun come over the horizon on the East, illuminating just the peaks at first and then watching the shadows in the valley slowly disappear as the sun approaches overhead. Then, as it begins to fall, the ridge tops begin to cast their shadows into the valleys until just the peaks remain lit by the sun just before it drops over the horizon on the West to reveal a beautiful stary night sky.
Well, since the next place I want to talk about is in the PNW, its probably more like this: wake up early with the rain pounding on the roof, slodge out to the outhouse through the mud just to go to the bathroom, then watch the surrounding mist go from black to lighter and lighter shades of dreary gray before reversing back to black and you go to bed to do the same thing the next day. I think I’d still be okay though, other than being lonely.
During WWII a lot of the lookouts also became observer stations where couples (to solve the loneliness problem) would be tasked with keeping a 24-hour watch to see of the Japanese were launching either incendiary balloons or attacking with aircraft. I think I would have liked that a lot. There is one lookout in particular that looks really interesting. In that day it would have been accessed by a trail that started near the town of Crale and ventured up towards the lookout from there.
The lookout was dismantled around 1968 so you may have to find some older maps. They’re out there though. Can you tell me where this lookout was?
Oh, I almost forgot, this headline might help your search: “On the Vast Wilderness Tract Foresters Are on the Lookout for Bombs and Enemy Fire Bugs”