The Fire Lookout

Aangezien ik veel Engels sprekende volgers heb schrijf ik dit verhaal in het Engels.
Since I have a lot of followers that speak English, I’ll write this one in English.

This morning the weather report told us that it would be better to wait one more day to go to the Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout. Today chances of being caught in rain or thunderstorm would be high and the view would be mostly ruined by the clouds. So Gary and I decided to go tomorrow and hope that our view tomorrow will be blue sky and distant lookout.

After my morning coffee and oatmeal breakfast Gary looked outside and saw that the weather here was actually not too bad. He asked e to go with him to the Fire Lookout next to Taylorsville. That seemed to be a nice replacement activity which would be only a couple miles away in stead of a two hour drive. We packed our bags with hot coffee and an extra jacket to stay warm. Up there it might get cold and windy. At the top of some of the mountains here is still some snow. Oh, this reminds me…. I haven’t even took one sip of coffee or water out of the two bottles that I took. And here is why…

We drove all the way up the mountain and Gary parked the car. It was a beautiful view over Taylorsville, Quincy, some lakes and valleys. I had to close my eyes and walked with Gary about 10 meters / 32 feet to the front. Then I could open my eyes and wow there I saw this very gorgeous lake that appeared right below me. It was created by a glacier high in the mountains, had clear water and Gary told me he even went for a swim up here once. When we sat there and just listened to the silence and to the birds singing he told me that this was the place where he really felt home. Ever since he got here with his father and now, years later, this is the place where he really feels home. I told him I can totally understand that. This is such an amazing place with clean air, lots of green valleys and beautiful mountains and views. He’s lucky to have this.

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He showed me around the top of the mountain and there we saw a Fire Lookout. A small wooden house. I climbed up the stairs as far as I could and could imagine myself staying here for a while just looking around to spot fires. Again at that place we just sat for a while and looked at the clouds how they shaped and became darker and darker, to finally rain down somewhere.

After one last look, when we walked to the car and wanted to go home we saw a car passing by. Gary became excited and said: “Oh that must be the man that stays at the Fire Lookout! We heard a radio earlier that morning so he must have let that on while he went shopping or something.” And Gary was right. The man stopped in front of the Fire Lookout and we walked up to him. Gary said to me: “Just wait, probably I can talk him into showing us the Fire Lookout from the inside. I’ll just tell him about your around-the-wold-tour and that you’ve never seen this before.” Well, Gary didn’t even had to put much effort in it because when we arrived we both saw that the man had his car fully loaded and starting to carry this up the stars to bring inside his house. Groceries, books, a printer and even a small trampoline. 🙂 So after greeting the man we offered him to carry the boxes up to the kitchen and to his office in the top of the Fire Lookout. Wayne, that was his name, was happy with the help and after I carried the trampoline inside – which he uses to stay in shape! – he was also willing to tell us about his job as a Fire Lookout.

The way Wayne told his stories and his energy were very intriguing. It made me think about Jan Bakker from Amsterdam and Eddy Scott from Russell. Somehow these men probably never loose their young spirit, energy and their fascinating stories. They will never forget to learn, to enjoy and to have fun. Later on, when I was back here at Gary’s log house I read Wayne his blog and I was right. His photography and his writing are truly inspiring me. I think I’ve read three stories without even blinking. The link to his blog is http://smokysunsheaven.blogspot.com/2018/ and here are some of his photo’s, that I found on his art gallery http://www.pbase.com/wwp/lookoutlife, which I found uplifting.

At the Fire Lookout he will stay most of his summer days. When the lightning strikes he has to be aware that there could be a fire starting. He’s watching through his binoculars to spot smoke and uses the radio to report this to center where they mostly send a helicopter and someone on the ground to check it. Natural fires are generally started by lightning. But last year they had a man who would start three fires at one day and several others, one even in someones back yard. He also caused a big fire close to town and got apparently 25 years to lifelong sentenced to prison. Wayne’s job is to spot the fires and make sure they can control them i time. He told us that some storms have up to 200 lightning bolts strike the earth’s surface.

Today is just another inspiring day where we, because of  ‘bad’ weather, experienced something truly unique. If you just get out of your house, new adventures are sometimes just around the corner. Life has so many gifts to discover and so many lessons and wisdom to give us. This world has so many magnificent miracles to reveal. If we just try to catch a glimpse of it, if we just understand a little part, we will find our peace, we will find ourselves. The book is endless and the story always goes on. If you go and open your eyes you will find it. If you stay where you are you may never see it.

Something special happened at the end of our visit at the Fire Lookout…

YesterdayI wrote this in my book:

Traveling the world seems to be something very special. Even though I’ve met so many people, young and old, who have been traveling or are still traveling the world. For most people the biggest surprise is that I’ve been doing a big part of my around-the-world-tour alone. They don’t understand why, would be scared of doing something like this and always tell me to ‘be careful‘. Then there’s the other group of people that I’ve met. The ones that are curious and excited and would love to do this themselves. The ones that have seen something more of the world. The ones that know the feeling of being free to do whatever you want to do and find amazing adventures. They mostly tell me ‘have fun!‘.

Today when Wayne told me goodbye…. guess what he said. 😉

Thanks Gary for this nice day and making me realize any adventure can be just around the corner of our own house.

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