The other day, I was searching around for new music, and I stumbled upon a very cool San Francisco rock band, LovelikeFire. Their name interested me, so I went to their myspace page. This track was the first song that played – ‘From a Tower’…
The lyrics of this song paint many different images in my mind. I don’t know what the inspiration for this song was, but one particular topic came to my mind – forest fire lookout towers. Fire lookout towers provide shelter for someone whose duty it is to search for wildfires in the wilderness. These towers consist of a small room (or cab) that is located on top of a large wooden or steel tower. But, natural terrain can eliminate the need for the tower structure, in which case the cab is then placed on the ground.
One example of this would be the tower in the above photo -historic Needles Lookout in Sequoia National Forest, CA. This particular lookout was built in 1937, and it sits on a granite pinnacle at an elevation of 8,245 ft. I read that access to the cab is along stairways and walkways that are suspended from the granite. To get there from the trailhead, you have to hike 2.5 miles to the base of the lookout, then 189 steps to the top….
I think Needles Lookout may have just made it onto my list of
Top Ten Places to Visit Before I Die=:0
The very first fire tower was built in 1876 and it was actually used to spot train fires from afar. Not long after, more towers were built, and they were once considered to be the most important tool for the detection of wildfires. At one time, there were approx. 8000 towers across the United States, but today, there are only a few hundred still in operation. Their legacy has faded, but thanks to enthusiasts, some of these towers are being restored and used as museums, wildlife observation posts, and vacation rentals. You can see some beautiful views from these towers HERE.
If you would like to learn more about fire lookout towers, please visit the Forest Fire Lookout Association.
Also, here’s the latest progress on my ’43 Chevy fire truck. I used a combination of size 11 and size 15 seed beads for the part of the truck where the firehose is stored. Of course, I need to figure out what to use for the hose, but it’s getting there…slowly, but surely….