15 – Hiking Down

  Leaving Deso that last day was hard and was easy. Hard because after a few days on the mountain top-----all the echoing voices of my complaining and perfectionist mind quiet down. I can hear my heart and a rare clarity provides insight that allows you to skate forward and backward in your life and [...]

15 – Hiking Down

14 – Chapter for Jack

    heY Jack ...........DesOlation LO stands there manned by lookouts sTill and the country Looks pretty much the same. its now a national park and will be saved from ClearCuts and hey they let fires burn now as long as people and buildings aren’t threatened....yoU donE some gOOd with yr worDs. the wOOdstove is [...]

14 – Chapter for Jack

13 – Sons and Fathers

  Testosterone is a complex hormone vital for survival of the species but corrosive at times to the body that it flows thru. I think it is the main reason that men die on average about 3 or 4 years before their wives. Or to put it in another way........the estrogen that dominates women protects [...]

13 – Sons and Fathers

12 – Games

  Kerouac had a elaborate paper based scorecard baseball game he played at Desolation to whittle away the time. It had teams and players and he scored the games in much the same way real games are played. Isaac Gewitz has written a book on it: I had two specific games of my own based [...]

12 – Games

11 – Day Hikers

  Midday the marmots and I await the next big event …...the arrival of any day hikers. They usually stay for a few minutes to an hour or two and then descend. It’s a long steady 4200 foot climb up from the lake and everyone is happy to finally get to the top. Curiously, many hardly [...]

11 – Day Hikers

10 – Fire

( from a painting by Chili Thom ) Fire is the reason the Lookout was built back in 1932. It is what I am constantly watching for.  It IS the main event....the reason anyone gets this job. In the visual universe of Desolation --- most fires would be started by lightning.  Of these fires, some [...]

10 – Fire

9 – The Daily Routine & the Marmots !#*%!

  The daily routine is pretty straight forward. You are paid to look for fires and if there are any…...then you are paid to monitor them. About every 20 minutes, I would walk around outside the LO with my binoculars scanning the view. Your mind memorizes the patterns, colors and relationships and after a few [...]

9 – The Daily Routine & the Marmots !#*%!

8 – Jack, Hozomeen, Void

  Jack Kerouac was a complex person and unique writer. He grew up Catholic but later in life extensively investigated Buddhism. Overlaying this was a string of functional and dysfunctional relationships both male and female, combined with binges of drugs and alcohol. Regrettably his continued abuse of the later led to his death at 47. [...]

8 – Jack, Hozomeen, Void

7 – Food

  Food is a huge deal. If you man a LO for the whole season, the park service will give you a helicopter sling load of food…...say 300 #s worth which can include luxuries like cans and sacks of basic supplies like rice, pasta and potatoes. But if you are a relief LO like myself…...you [...]

7 – Food

6 – Topography, Cab, Firefinder, Radio Ops

  The North Cascades are wave after wave of earth’s crumpled crust. The geologic meeting of the North American Plate and the San Juan de Fuca plate is a very powerful, slow grinding collision......forcing these mountains up dramatically......Jack Mountain rises 7000 feet straight above Ross Lake....and the North Cascades National Park reportedly has more glaciers [...]

6 – Topography, Cab, Firefinder, Radio Ops
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