Monday, September 10, 2007
Saddle Mountain Hike, installment 5....cabin
The cabin has no indoor plumbing, of course. This is the view of the outhouse from the door of the cabin. Can you imagine finding your way down across the rocks in the middle of the night, pouring rain or thick fog with only a kerosene lamp because you had one too many cups of coffee? I wonder how many fire lookout keepers ended their career by falling off their lookout?
Please notice that the cabin and outhouse are held fast to the ground with the help of cables. I can't imagine being up here in a high wind, sitting in the biffy and hearing those cables sing.
Once inside the cabin you can see that there is a small fridge and stove. They may have been run by propane or gas...but I can't figure how they would have refilled or replaced the tanks up here, unless they were bringing in all the supplies by helicopter (not possible for the first of the lookout keepers).
The coffee cups and washbasin...well just about everything is still here. It must be just too much effort to take it away. Surprisingly, the lookout has not really been terribly vandalized (except for names and dates scrawled and carved all over the walls). All but one of the windows is still intact (and I think it was there last year when I was up) and all the appliances are whole. There is rat poop in all the cupboards, and, well, everywhere else. Who knows what they're eating in there? There's no food that I could see.
Even all the charting equipment is still there, in the the cabin.
The photo at left is out the window, North, of town. It seems like it's tremendously far away. And very, very small.
This would have been the fire lookout keeper's view, each morning as he left the cabin to do whatever fire lookout keepers did in those days.
We really were on top of the world.
Thanks for sticking with me this far.
The photos don't give the tremendous sense of scale that we had there. If you can imagine being so high up that there's nothing above you, nothing hampering your view in any direction...we spend our lives in this part of the world down deep in the valleys of these huge behemoth rocks. Our sunrises and sunsets are false ones, as our hours of light are measured in the time it takes for the sun to rise over one mountain and set behind another. It's tremendously liberating to climb up above it all and look back down. It gives a profound sense of perspective, reminds me of my place within the world, within geological history, reawakens my sense of wonder.