August 18, 2007

On the Lookout

Today was the last Saturday of my vacation and I spent it by myself, doing some errands and a couple detours. Our friends Paul and Linda live and work at a Scout camp, and they just moved to Holcomb Valley Scout Reservation. I was on my way up to visit them, when Paul called to say he was going to be late. I decided to kill some time and go check out the campsites at Dogwood (in order, the best were 26, 21-24, 85-87).

I made a wrong turn leaving the campground (it happens) and saw a sign for the Strawberry Peak Fire Lookout. When I got to the base, a man in the tower leaned over the rail and invited me up to the top. I learned that the lookout is staffed entirely by volunteers, who work two, four-hour shifts a month during fire season. When he told me that if your shifts are an evening followed by a morning, you can spend the night in the tower, I immediately filled out an interest card. The orientation will take place in the Spring.

I finally made it out to Holcomb, and it looked just as it did when I was through there almost 30 years ago! In 1978, I was working in the Youth Conservation Corps, doing sagebrush eradication in the Holcomb Valley. The camp is just about six miles away from our favorite USFS campground, Serrano. Of course that six miles is on one kidney-puncher of a jeep trail (2N09), but we can camp at Serrano and then drive up to Holcomb for the rifle, shotgun or archery ranges, climbing tower, horseback riding, and of course, visiting with friends.