Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Lake of the Woods Lookout Trip

The Lake of the Woods Lookout Story

We wanted to leave by 0800 on Friday June 20th, 2008, so, at 1400 we headed out to Newberg to drop off Jasmine @ Sam's. Then, a quick fix of the phones, television, sewer system, and re-paint of Anne's (Christine's Mom) house, we were off on our vacation only 7 hours later than anticipated. This made us a bit nervous due to the fact that we had 7.5 hours of driving ahead of us that ended with a mystery trip through not very well charted Bureau of Land Management, National Forest and Forest Service Roads. But, being good campers we trudged ahead.

Ahead meant leaving Newberg heading for I-5. From I-5 we headed down 38 to Reedsport. This road is gorgeous, big hills, beautiful Rivers (Pass Cr., Elk Cr., Umpqua River actually). We hit US101 @ Reedsport headed south. We stopped at Coos Bay for a Freddie's / Abbey's Pizza stop and then on down to Gold Beach. Somewhere @ or around Coos Bay we had decided not to go directly to the Lookout, but instead grab a hotel for the night.

We arrived in Coos Bay at around 2100. We stopped @ the Gold Beach Inn to see about a place to stay, they promised "the best ocean views". The girl at the front desk seemed annoyed to look up from her computer when I walked in, being guy smiley, I asked her "If there was any room @ the inn." She responded with, "nope, that's why we have the no vacancy sign on." I thought perhaps she wasn't raised right, and she doesn't realize that this sounds horribly bitchy. So, I tried my guy smiley again and asked that "if she were unable to provide us a room, in this beautiful establishment, might she recommend another hotel that is comparable?" She responded with "How about any one with the vacancy sign on." I thanked her for her help and left. Just to be sure that I wasn't actually stupid, I checked her sign, which had the vacancy illuminated, without the helpful NO. I returned to the hotel lobby to inform princess bitch a lot that she should illuminate the No part of her helpful signage. She thanked me and we hugged. We went next door to the Ireland's Rustic Lodge, thinking that they looked cute. Upon arriving at the office, there was a sign stating, Please Check In At The Gold Beach Inn (fuck).

So, we went one building over to the Pacific Something Inn, Leslie at the front desk was quite helpful, she apologized for the cost of the room, she said that it was one of the newer rooms and therefore had a higher price, I felt that $120 was quite reasonable. When we got to the room, we found a 42" flat LCD TeeVee, DVD, huge comfy bed with too many pillows. It was on the ground floor and had a patio that looked out over the grass to the beach access. Not exactly a great view of the ocean, but it was a wonderful place none the less. We will be back for certain.

The next day we debated taking the 6 hr 80 mile jet boat tour up the Rogue River. We decided that it would be better to save this for when the kids were with us and we weren't already pissing away the time at the Lookout. We headed to the Indian Creek Cafe up on Jerry's Flat Rd upon the recommendation of the new Leslie at the front desk (evidently they only hire Leslies for the front desk, just to keep it straight). The Indian Creek Cafe was awesome, the biscuits and gravy were only outdone by the sausage and egg o' muffin.
So, we hit the trail full of brunch and ready to battle the 31 miles to Agness, Oregon and then 17 miles of BLM roads that follow. The first 31 miles aren't that bad, relatively, they only have 6" sliding asphalt patches with no "bump" signs. The directions are somewhat vague on the way to the cabin, this is not good. Combine the directions with the somewhat vague signage on the roads and it makes you glad you mapped the whole thing out on Microsoft Streets and Trips before you left home. Of course, I didn't think to check this resource until we'd made it all the way to Agness Oregon.

Now, Agness is a big place, with no people. You start seeing Agness Park, or Agness Campgrounds well before you reach Agness proper. As a matter of fact, you don't really have to go the 6 miles of one way road with washouts and landslides all the way to the Old Agness Store and The Old Agness Post Office to get to the Lookout. Unfortunately, we didn't find this out until we were there. Luckily, the ladies behind the counter were very friendly and hooked us up with Jeffrey.

Jeffrey used to be a fire lookout guy at the Lake of the Woods Lookout. He gave us slightly less vague directions and a tip to not get water at the store, but to wait until we find this great spring with fresh water flowing all over the place on the way to the lookout (more on this advice later). So, with Jeffrey's advice we headed off.

"Which way was the first step Hon." I said. Christine's reply, "Um, right, maybe". So, we headed right, down this horrible road with giant nasty rocky teeth that wanted to eat Betty's tires. Arriving at the riverfront beach access we didn't mean to find, we turned around and headed back up the 50 degree hill of death back from whence we came. We passed the Old Agness Store (being careful not to look at the locals for fear of hearing their laughter). We headed down the road, back the way we came. 6 precarious miles later, we were at a junction we'd been at an hour before, with really no better idea of where we were going. Luckily, the matron of the store had seen us going nowhere fast before, so when she found us wandering again, she offered to help us get it straight. She pointed us in the right direction again, and then we confirmed it with MS Streets and Trips. Let me tell you, that program had the most detail of any map I've found yet.

We were off, up Forest Service Road 33 for 9.2 miles. This road wasn't all that bad, Christine would beg to differ. It had whindy steep turns, few guard rails and lots of big freshly fallen rocks. We arrived at the next turn, onto FSR 3336, this is where I expected to see the lovely artisan spring with fairies dancing around it and splashing gaily in the sunshine. I asked Christine to confirm, this is where she expected it as well. Um, no spring, no water. I start to think, how much water is in our 7 gallon jug anyway. We are not turning around at this point. We trudge on up the hill. Now, our peak was 3,500 ft. and 9.2 miles ago we were almost at sea level. Well, I'm figuring we were only about 700 ft. off the valley floor, because I know we travel thousands of feet up as we drove these next 7 miles.

Christine was very brave, she would ask me to slow down, or hug the mountain more, I'd do my best. I would look over, she'd be leaning in towards the center of the car, as if her tiny fraction of the weight in the car would help us to stay grounded. This must have worked, as we never did slide off the side of the road. Betty was awesome, she let the trees and scrub brush against her sides and rocks go under her carriage, and still she climbed. The last mile was the very steepest I've ever driven. There were 8 inch washouts we had to climb through. Big rocks to dodge. At one point we crested a hill and I wasn't sure that there was road below. Eventually we arrived at the summit of our little ridge. It was amazing. Christine immediately asked me to stop moving the car, she was sure we were going to fall off the Earth. I complied gladly. We got out and explored a bit. If you want to find it on Google Earth or anything, the location is below.

42.59431 N
124.12837 W

We arrived at 1600 Our time at the summit was amazing. The lookout itself is a 10 x 14 room with windows on all sides, literally, the biggest gap between windows is about 4 inches. Makes sense since it's called a lookout. There is a porch around the entire room. The porch is made of the same type of steel plates that they make bridges out of, I'm sure this is both a fire proofing measure as well as for general sturdiness. Well, it made us both freaking nervous for the first 3 visits to the porch. This 10 x 14 room is perched upon 4, 8 foot segments of I-beam. There are other buildings located under the lookout, they are a solar shower stall, a communications box (probably full of weather reporting equipment or something), and a wood shed, possibly for tools and supplies for fighting fires (we can't know, they were locked and we're honest folk). The ground around the lookout is possibly 10 feet wider than the I-beams. This extends along a ridge, to the outhouse. The ridge gets much more narrow the closer you get to the outhouse. This caused Christine some alarm. She was afraid of falling off the side of our ridge and tumbling the 60 ft. to the treeline. So, she had me walk her out there the first couple times. The ridge extends much further than the outhouse, we'll get there in a minute.

After a quick visit to the coolest outhouse in the world, we went back to the car, hunkering low to the ground for fear. Back at the car, we developed a good system for getting the gear up the 8-10 ft. to the lookout. I would stand below, and throw the soft and semi-light things up to Christine, she would throw them over the railing behind her. Good plan, then I threw my sleeping bag up, bad throw, Christine leaned for it and couldn't reach. It falls, and starts rolling towards the edge of the ridge, I scramble for it, I hear Christine beg me to let it go for fear that I'll slide off next, I reach.... and I make it just fine. So, we start handing items to each other instead. When we get the gear into the lookout (LO) we notice that it looks like it's from WWII (it's actually from 1990, when the last lookout burned down). But Christine fixed this in the first 3 hrs by unpacking our stuff and making it home.

This is when Christine found her favorite part of the trip, the journal logs from previous visitors. Turns out they go back to 2002. And there's some pretty cool stuff. People leave things for the next visitors to make things better or easier for them, toilet paper, matches, cookware. The logs mention many things that are no longer there, a guitar, some crystal wine glasses. We don't know why these things are gone, we hope that it wasn't just thievery. Perhaps, the person with the guitar, is just refinishing it, or replacing a string, they'll bring it back, surely. The logs mention many things, bad weather, good weather, scary mountain men with glowing eyes waiting by many fires out in the dark, animals seen, adventures, and even tips for the US Forestry Svc. on what they can fix in the house.

After we unpacked and checked out the inside of our new home, we headed out into the big scary world of the wrap around porch. At first when we got outside, we both felt like you do when you crest the top of the Farris wheel. Your stomach jumps a bit, and you wait to fall, but you don't. And then, after you keep NOT falling for a while, this wears off. We looked west, is that the coast, I don't know, looks like clouds. We spent the next 5 hours watching the clouds move into the valleys below. There are actually six ridges between you and the coast from the LO. If you're lucky, you can watch the clouds flow into each valley. If you know what to look for in our many pictures of the valley from that day. You can even find the two sink holes, this is what we named the depressions we could see at the center of each cloud coming over the center of each valley. You could just watch the clouds suck down into the depressions like a white and grey maelstrom.

The sunsets seemed slow and deliberate. There was none of that rushing to get behind a mountain, or a large building, there was no trying to peek around a big tree to find the sun, it was plain as the nose on my face. I'm pretty sure the process of setting took the sun 3 or 4 hours. During the set, you can see the different levels of clouds moving at different rates and in different directions. The clouds the furthest below moving fastest towards us. Christine was making dinner when the mists started to attack. Okay, attack isn't the right word, dance, over the ridge. We have a video where you can see the mists floating over the ridge, engulfing the outhouse and obliterating it from view. The sun went from a big yellow blinding ball of light to a muted white shadow of itself, and eventually we couldn't see it at all. We thought that perhaps this is the way of things here above the clouds. Perhaps it comes in as the sun gets lower and the winds over the land can no longer fight it back. But sure enough, just as soon as it came, it left. Leaving behind the most gorgeous sunset for the next hour and half. You can see from the photos that we took way to many, we couldn't stop. Each time we looked out, we found something new and unique that wasn't there before. After sunsetgasm 2008 we settled in for the night. As bright and sunny as the LO is during the day (there are no shades, there are no walls to speak of, no where to hide), it gets just as dark at night. And there's a vulnerability to not having a way to block the windows, with any lights on at all, you can't tell what's outside, if anything.

We kept going out occasionally during the night, to look at the stars. It never lasted to long as the wind was cold and cutting. The stars, I'm sure I've not seen that many stars at night since Cour d' Alene. There aren't any cities around to illuminate the skyline after dark, just you and the stars. Speaking of skyline after dark lights, about an hour after sunset/dusk, we noticed what looked like a skyline light, we were disappointed as we hadn't seen it before and didn't know what it could be. Well, pleasant surprises never cease, the light was the moonrise, it was orange because of the cloud cover. The moon rose for the next hour, it was almost as amazing as the sunset. The moon moved through lines of clouds just off the horizon. And even looked like Saturn for quite a while at one point. Finally, at 1130, the natural excitement was over. We went to sleep.

The sun never sleeps, did you know that, she is a cruel, cruel master who is constantly waiting to blind, mame, or kill you. Or, at least that's what it feels like when the sun rises at 0545 in a lookout on top of a mountain ridge. You think at first that there is some large child with a magnifying glass sitting in the trees around you, trying to catch your hair on fire. But it's not that easy, it's the friggin' sun, you can't mace it, you can't run from it up there, so you put your sunglasses on and try to catch a few more winks. Eventually, the sun is high enough that the roof edges give a bit of shadow, for a few hours anyways.

Coffee is your friend when you are camping, even instant imported Vietnamese coffee in a big mug, served on a picnic table on top of the world. We headed down with our smallest camp stove to the picnic table at the edge of our world. We take with us the bear necessities, yes, I said bear necessities. Christine has read some of the journals in the cabin by now. She's on high alert for black bears brambling through our site. We've got bear mace (7.2 seconds of 30 ft. of bear deterring 2% capsicum spray, NOT FOR USE ON HUMANS), two big knives, and our running shoes. We sip our coffee as the sun tries it's best to kill us. It was beautiful. A little over and hour later and the coffee is working, on to the best outhouse in the world.

The best outhouse in the world is situated on our ridge as said before, it faces west towards the coast, it is clean (except for some mouse turds near the back), it is not smelly as so few people use it per year. The door is 3 feet from the edge of the ridge. If you leave the door open, the sun bathes you as you look out over 6 ridges towards the coast. It almost makes you forget why you're sitting there. And as a pit-toilet-ophobe, I was able to relax and enjoy my time.

During the second day, we found ourselves exploring a bit more. More journal reading, a trip down the ridge to see where the old lookout stood until 1990 (it's just broken glass and old rusty iron bits now). We looked for wildlife. We found a small lizard, bees, flies, deer flies, two redtail hawks, two scrub jays, a few small brown warbly birds. That was actually a bit surprising for us. We expected to see lots of birds flying around. We guessed that they were hiding from the few raptors we saw cruising the thermals in the valleys.

When we tired of the sun and the views (?) we watched a movie on the DVD player. Half way through a movie it died. We were sad. Then I noticed a three pronged car lighter type DC power receptacle. I plugged in my DVD player and hoped to see the red charge light ignite. Nothing, I checked the hardware that connected the DC power supply to the two deep cycle marine batteries on the front porch. It had one button, thank god, even I can work with one button. I pushed the button. It cycled through various diagnostic and test modes and, being a super genius, I pushed THE BUTTON again. This time my charge light started glowing and we were in business. Thank god, you can't stop watching L.A. Story half way through, it just ain't fittin'.

By this time we had pretty good summer colds going. We were glad we were at a location that didn't require much effort once you were unpacked and rolling. We had brought way to much food. We didn't crack half of it. We wrote in the journal. We drank our beers, and limeaid todkas, and drank our water slowly.

Oh, yeah, the water, we had taken the 7 gallon camp water container. I had left it partly filled from the last camping trip. It had about 3.5 gallons of water in it. We also brought a few nalgenes bottles and a hydration pack full, all in all we had over 4.5 gallons for two people for two days. We were okay after all. yeah for not drinking our own urine.

The second afternoon and evening was slightly less eventful than the night before. We had hoped the clouds would roll in like the previous night, this didn't happen. In a way we were very happy about this as well. You see, Jeffrey had told us about the LIGHTNING PAD. Jeffrey had let us know about the pad, and if there was lightning during the trip, we should stand on that pad, but we couldn't find anything in the cabin that looked like it was designed to keep us from being fried by lightning. We just figured if it got bad we'd go hide in Betty. That reality didn't materialize, I'm cool like that.
The sunset was wonderful, not as cloudy as the night before. Because of this it seem more distant, more like we were watching a movie of a really big sunset. It was beautiful and lasted at least half an hour longer than the night before. Christine got motivated and packed most of our stuff up in the time after sunset, before bed. This was so helpful the next morning. We didn't make it to moonrise, we were exhausted. The moon said hello regardless. I awoke to a beam of moonlight, almost as bright as the sun poking me in the eye. It wasn't that bad, but it was, yet another way for the sun to try and kill me. Bouncing off the moon like that, sneaky sun.

She-wee, that's right, she-wee. It's actually called a "Freshette". It's a funnel that's shaped like a woman, it goes over your pudendum and fits snugly. It has a tube that comes out the end of the funnel (like a little fake plastic penis). Christine used her She-wee to go pee at night. The first time was a hoot. She was quite cold. And quite giggly. And cold and giggly don't help you to pee the first time you do it standing up, fully clothed, aiming for a hole between the fence wire. She also didn't like the wind at her back, she wished for pants with a zipper ;). Eventually she worked out a system, and she recommends a She-wee for any adventure women that don't like the vulnerability of squatting directly over a bowl in the middle of the night in bear country.

The next morning the sun kissed my cheek. It was 0530, and the sun hadn't crested the ridges to our East. I awoke and took some pictures of the fog in the valley. We liked the idea that the sun was just for us in the morning. All the folks on the valley floor, the rogue river dwellers and visitors, didn't get to see the sun until way past 1000. I crawled back to bed and warmed myself by sucking the heat off of Christine. An hour later the sun poked me with a stick in my eye. I put on my shades and went back to sleep.

Monday morning we had to go home. We didn't want to go home. We wanted to stay a day or two longer. But, responsibilities called, so we told responsibility that we'd be a little late. We did this using our cell phones. You see, we have Verizon Wireless. And although Verizon FiOS has turned out to be a joke. The Wireless type of Verizon works like crazy. We had one bar everywhere in the tower and most of the ridge. So, Christine called school and said she'd be late. We slowly got ourselves motivated and working on going home. We used a rope to lower the heavy things down the steep and deadly staircase. Christine threw everything else down from the porch, superhandy. We packed the car, and then packed it tighter.

We left a few items for the next ridgefolk. We left some D cell batteries, a tea kettle, a cheese grater, some instant coffee from Vietnam, paper towels, and Wet Ones (you can never have enough Wet Ones at the top o the world). We finished our journals. We did some psycological prepwork for the drive down off the mountain.

I had never navigated anything like this before, at least not for this length and severity. But, Betty's a Subaru. I put her in low gear, Christine started the camera rolling (in case we needed to leave a monologue of our death for the kids). We dropped off the first ridge crest and onto the first .75 mi. to the gate. This was the worst for me, it had the most rock crawlingest washout ruts I've ever driven down. I kept using my decompressing breaths to let steam off as we descended. I could feel my testes poking my adam's apple. Christine kept concentrating on the camera, and asked clarifying questions about what the low gear was doing. It helped me to focus on explaining things to her while trying to stay upright. We got to the gate. After a few fumbles we were free (free to fall off the edge of the world).

We headed down NF3336 to NF33 to Agness. 17 mi. to Agness, 31 mi. to Gold Beach. The way down was uneventful. Christine was more used to the edges and cliffsides than before. She even liked being on the edgeside, so she could see how much of the road I wasn't using, and could I use more. No problem. We never saw another human being on the way down to Agness. We did see 5 or 7 deer. We even had to follow a faun and doe for about .75 mi. as they couldn't find a way off the road.

Eventually we made our way back the 31 miles to Gold Beach. We stopped into the Indian Creek Cafe for brunch and headed up 101 to Newport. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful trip.

Below is the specifics on where the lookout is located and who to contact for info.

Enjoy the lookout, take your kids out to the woods and help preserve their majesty or generations to come.



Alan Vandiver, District Ranger

29279 Ellensburg AveGold Beach, OR 97444

P.O. Box 4580, 539 Chetco AveBrookings, OR 97415
Phone Gold Beach:Voice: (541) 247-3600
Phone Brookings:Voice: (541) 412-6000

Start at: 3045 19th Ave Forest Grove, OR 97116
1. Head east on 19th Ave toward Maple St - 0.1 mi2. Turn left at Maple St - 0.1 mi3. Turn right at Pacific Ave - 0.3 mi4. Turn left at OR-47/Quince St - 0.4 mi5. Turn right at NW Martin Rd - 1.9 mi6. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto NW Verboort Rd - 0.4 mi7. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto NW Cornelius Schefflin Rd - 1.7 mi8. Continue on NW Zion Church Rd - 2.0 mi9. Turn left at NW Glencoe Rd - 1.2 mi10. Turn right to merge onto US-26 E toward Portland - 11.8 mi11. Take exit 69A to merge onto OR-217 S toward Tigard/Salem - 7.2 mi12. Take the exit onto I-5 S toward Salem - 130 mi13. Take exit 162 to merge onto OR-38/OR-99 toward Elkton/Drain Continue to follow OR-38 - 56.8 mi14. Turn left at Oregon Coast Hwy/US-101/Winchester Ave Continue to follow Oregon Coast Hwy/US-101 - 105 mi
Arrive at: Gold Beach, OR

Start at: Gold Beach, OR
1. Head north on Ellensburg Ave/US-101 toward 5th St - 1.0 mi2. Turn right at CR-595 - 9.8 mi3. Continue on NF-33 - 3.2 mi4. Turn left to stay on NF-33 - 15.8 mi5. Turn left to stay on NF-33 - 1.9 mi6. Sharp left at Agness-Illahe Rd - 3.0 mi
Arrive at: Agness, OR
From the north end of the town of Gold Beach, turn east off of US Highway 101 onto County Road 595.
This road becomes Forest Service Road (FSR) 33.
Travel approximately 27 miles to the town of Agness.
Continue approximately 9 miles on FSR 33 to FSR 3336.
Turn left and travel 8.2 miles to FSR 141.
Pass through the gate and continue another 0.75 mile to the lookout.
Travel time from Gold Beach is approximately one and a half hours on narrow, paved and gravel roads. Forest Service roads are generally one lane gravel roads with pullouts. Many people use these roads, including logging trucks and recreational vehicles. Drive slowly, stay to the right at all times, and use pullouts. Above all, be alert and drive defensively.

Nothing compares to the closeness to nature, grandness of views, and sheer romance of spending time on the top of a mountain in this historic gem of a Forest Service lookout. At an elevation of 3,419 feet, Lake of the Woods Lookout provides a panoramic view, with vistas to the Pacific Ocean, the Kalmiopsis and Wild Rogue Wildernesses, and the Wild and Scenic Illinois and Rogue River canyons.
MORE INFORMATION: History Description Area Attractions & Activities Amenities Pets Smoking Directions Storm Warning
Price & Capacity
$40 per night per group with a maximum of four occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of the lookout.
There is sufficient room for one tent, but the ground is extremely rocky.
Gold Beach Ranger DistrictPO Box 4580 , 539 Chetco AvenueBrookings, OR 97415541-412-6000
Other Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Recreation Rentals
Lake of the Woods Lookout is available for rent May 27 through October 30.
-- Reservations must be made at least ten days in advance. The maximum length stay is five consecutive nights. --

The lookout is located approximately 21 miles northeast of Gold Beach, Oregon. It was first located on Barklow Mountain on the Powers Ranger District. The R6 (Flat Roofed) cabin, originally a "ground house" (the lookout cabin was built on the ground, not on top of a tower), was flown by helicopter to the present location and placed on an eight-foot tower with a catwalk in 1974. Lake of the Woods Lookout was staffed during fire seasons from 1974 to 1996.
The lookout, a one-room cabin surrounded by windows, accommodates one to four people. It is equipped with a propane stove, refrigerator and lights, and is furnished with a table and two chairs, a double bed, foot stool, broom and fire extinguisher. Visitors should be prepared for a rustic camping experience, and will need to bring sufficient equipment, including bedding and cooking supplies. On site, adjacent to the lookout, are a picnic table and a fire pit for outdoor barbeques. (During periods of extreme fire danger there will be restrictions for outdoor burning). An outhouse is located near the lookout. No water is available on site; visitors must bring plenty of water for drinking, cooking and washing.
Area Attractions & Activities
Far away from city lights, gaze for hours at the brilliant night sky, searching for constellations, planets and the occasional meteor slashing the inky blackness. During the day, explore several old logging roads nearby, whether by foot or mountain bike. In the spring the Lake of the Woods, which is actually a fairly small shallow pond, is surrounded by wildflowers. Watch for birds and butterflies. As summer progresses, the lake fills in with tall reeds and grasses.
Picnic Table
Fire Pit
Propane Heater
There is sufficient room for one tent, but the ground is extremely rocky.
Pets are welcome.
No smoking.
From the north end of the town of Gold Beach, turn east off of US Highway 101 onto County Road 595. This road becomes Forest Service Road (FSR) 33. Travel approximately 27 miles to the town of Agness. Continue approximately 9 miles on FSR 33 to FSR 3336. Turn left and travel 8.2 miles to FSR 141. Pass through the gate and continue another 0.75 mile to the lookout.
Travel time from Gold Beach is approximately one and a half hours on narrow, paved and gravel roads. Forest Service roads are generally one lane gravel roads with pullouts. Many people use these roads, including logging trucks and recreational vehicles. Drive slowly, stay to the right at all times, and use pullouts. Above all, be alert and drive defensively.
Storm Warning
Lightning storms are a part of the thrill of staying at a lookout, but they are also extremely dangerous. If a lightning storm should occur, visitors are urged to follow these safety rules to minimize the danger. Stay indoors or completely inside your car. If you are trapped outside during a lightning storm, move to lower ground and stay low to the ground. Do not stand under trees or other high objects. If you are in the lookout building, close the windows and doors. Lightning follows air currents. Do not touch anything metal. The Lookout has metal stairs and a metal walkway around the cabin. It is imperative you do not stand at these locations during storms.
During periods of intense summer storms a Forest Service Fire Officer may need to use the lookout for short periods of time to spot fires. If you spot a fire while at the lookout, report it to the Forest Service as soon as possible.