2014 Day 5 as a Volunteer Lookout

By | July 26, 2014

Friday, July 25

Morning sky at Baptiste Lookout

A rosy dawn welcomed me for just a few minutes to the new day before the colors were obliterated by grey clouds. The winds had beat against the lookout all night rocking me gently in my sleep and singing lullabies in my dreams. I am usually a good sleeper, but lookout sleep, far from the noises of civilization, is completely restful and deep. The thick, grey clouds hung just above the mountain peaks this morning. They did not allow the warming sunshine to enter the windows of the lookout requiring the wood stove to be lit in order to decrease the morning chill. 

One of my favorite parts of the day is taking readings for the morning weather report. Because my family members have been farmers and growers for many generations, I have always had an intimate relationship with weather. However, nothing compares with being in a lookout where you are a part of the weather everyday.

After my morning check-in and weather report, I put several empty water jugs into my backpack on a water run down to Logan Creek. I also carried bear spray and the radio. The radio must be carried anytime a lookout leaves the tower (even to the outhouse). Logan Creek in Silver Basin is the closest water source and is also an avalanche site. Trees lie criss-cross along both sides and over the creek. From there, Baptiste Lookout can be seen far up on the ridge above. While filling the containers, I noticed one small bear print in the mud……one more piece of evidence that I am not alone; that I share this landscape with many other creatures.

After filling the containers, I started back up to the lookout. Although Logan Creek is only three-quarters of a mile from the lookout, the elevation gain is over 500 feet making the climb an aerobic workout when carrying a load of water. When you haul your water uphill for almost a mile, you pay a lot of attention to how much you use.

Wind creating white caps on Hungry Horse ReservoirThe winds picked up again this afternoon. Although not quite as forceful as yesterday, it created white caps on Hungry Horse Reservoir far below the lookout. Other than that, the day has been relatively quiet with no storms, no lightning, no smoke, and no visitors. Besides my lookout duties, I have fallen into a daily rhythm of cooking meals, hauling water, writing, reading, and taking pictures. Throughout the day, blue sky began to appear and the grey clouds turned into fluffy white cumulus clouds which covered a majority of the sky. There was not enough sunshine to keep me from shivering as I took an outdoor solar shower this evening.

Evening colorsThe wind is still whining around the outside of the lookout tonight rattling the windows and trying to find a way in. As the sun sets, I feel gratitude for the chance to be alive and in this place on this beautiful planet.

One thought on “2014 Day 5 as a Volunteer Lookout

  1. Marilyn Ulen Kleinhans

    Hey Debo! These posts are wonderful! One of my favorite adventures ever was visiting you a couple of years ago to see the new cabin. The gorgeous country out there from way up in the clouds is absolutely stellar. One of the best volunteer jobs I can imagine. Enjoy! Please say hello to all of your friends that I met while I was out there. Marilyn

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