The regular lookout sits patiently by her full backpack, ready to flee down the trail for four days off. She points out a few fires, then says tentatively, "please don't kill my grouse." I look at her uncomprehendingly. "The guys all want to kill them, and they've been up here since they were chicks," she explains.
After reassuring her that I would never kill her grouse, she bounds down the trail, and I'm left in silence. I prowl the lookout, scanning the maps. I gaze at the fires. I make tea. Finally I launch myself out of the building, restless, and hike up the next ridge. I go to sleep when it gets dark, and wake up when the sun rises.
|Sunset at the lookout|
|One of the fires|
TO BE CONTINUED....