I drove anxiously up the rocky dirt road that hugged the side of the cliff. Meeting another vehicle would be nerve wracking at this point. But luckily, the fire lookout came into view.
I surveyed it, contemplating the next two days' stay. It looked kind of like a nuclear bunker, very different from the rustic cabins and towers I was used to. A locked radio room shared space with the lookout, from which transmissions could be heard (911? I was never able to hear clearly enough). The parking area was so steep that I had to chock my tires. Large radio frequency antennas loomed nearby.
But to my delight, opening the door to the lookout provided a view of a cozy, light-filled space. The lookout area resembled an air traffic control tower. Sliding glass doors led out to a catwalk. Inside, there were electric lights, a refrigerator, a heater, and even a microwave. This was the Four Seasons version of a fire lookout!
Not wanting to tackle the road again, I settled in and explored the local area. I ran a couple miles down the road and huffed and puffed my way back up. I took walks and read books on the catwalk. At night I turned on the lights and the heater, not waking up freezing as I sometimes do at fire lookouts.
I've stayed at lookouts with resident pack rats, with daddy longlegs infestations, and ones that have pristine outhouses. Some are local party spots, and some are terrifying to drive to. They're all different. There aren't many like this one with all its amenities. I love them all.