There is something exhilarating about climbing a fire tower. And there are quite a few of these relics scattered around our state. Sitting atop mountains…a remnant from the past. No longer in use. Technology having taken their place.
I have climbed a few in my day.
Usually after a challenging hike…a bonus reward at the summit…not just a spectacular view but a fire tower too.
Today, for whatever reason, I had a yearning to climb one of those towers. I didn’t want to do a huge mountain hike though, wading through two feet of fresh snow…but I wanted the reward of a tower.
Luckily for me there is a fire tower nearby. Practically in my backyard. Or 7 miles over in the next town.
Allis State Park.
I discovered it this fall. And I fell in love. Not only is it secluded and lovely, but there is a fire tower.
It’s not easy to find. Closed in the winter. The sign taken down. The road to the gate barely plowed.
What a perfect day. It was cold…the sun and blue skies deceptive. But I was dressed for it and excited to make the mile long snowshoe trek up to the fire tower.
God bless snowmobilers…they had recently traveled through the park making my trek much easier.
The snow from the recent storm coats the trees, branches bending from the weight of it. The brilliant sun casts long and intricate shadows.
The snowmobile trail ends and we make our own tracks…sinking far into the snow…
Until the tower appears…
It looms and stretches upward..its steel supports strong and enduring.
I take off my snowshoes and prepare to ascend.
I don’t have a fear of heights…yet looking up and seeing the top…so far away…isn’t easy. Your legs tremble a bit…your breath catches…and your stomach does a few somersaults.
I stop part way up. Even there the view is stunning…
But it is the top…the 360 degree views that take your breath away.
Orion waits for me…down below. He’s not a fan of fire tower stairs…
The wind whips around the tower…but the sun is warm on my face. I don’t want to leave.
I take a deep breath and inhale the view one last time…