Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book: Fire Season

I remember visiting a couple of fire towers several years back while attending two separate Earthwatch expeditions. One in Idaho and the other in North Carolina. The one in Idaho wasn’t what you would call a “tower”, was set up on a rocky outcrop atop a small peak, facing an open range of mountains and hills. It kind of reminded me of the lookout that Jack Kerouac spent 63 days in on Desolation Peak as a fire lookout.

The North Carolina tower was an actual “tower” presenting a lofty, incredible view of a stunning panorama. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to nestle oneself in one of these for months on end, gazing over the most beautiful of sights in solitude watching for smoke with plenty of time to ruminate.

If you have ever wondering about what it’s like to be a fire lookout in the middle of a pristine forest, as I have, then I have come across a book that answers that question for you-eloquently. Fire Season, by Philip Conners, part memoir, part history, part this, part that, will take you into this world and leave you wishing you were there. As Conners says “…. every day spent in a lookout is a day not subtracted from the sum of one’s life.” This is definitely a must read.

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