National Geographic : 1946 Jul
Forest Lookout hands free to balance ourselves on the rocks wherever the trail was especially steep and narrow beside an abrupt drop (Plate V). From the top of the moun tain, 8,140 feet in altitude, the landscape first seemed a chaos of snowfields and sharp, ugly rocks near the station, a wild jumble of chimneys and points and sawtooth ridges against the sky, with forests on the lower slopes and in the valleys. It was as if Paul Bunyan had an grily hurled rocks as far as he could in all directions and then, repenting his anger, had planted trees at the base of the rocks and hoped, in vain, that they would spread to the top. But gradually I began to bring some kind of order out of the chaos and to see something of grandeur in it. The Stehekin River is the unifying element in the picture, a diminutive river to give unity to so vast a scene. The blue-green water and occa sional white flecks of its last eight miles are visible from the lookout tower as it meanders through the trees before flowing into Lake Chelan. From here, more than a mile above it, the river looks quiet and slow, but I can hear its roar, and I know that those white flecks are the foam of its tumble over and around boul ders. To the southeast, prob ably 15 miles of the upper part of Lake Chelan wind around its numerous wooded points, its water usually blue-green, some times touched with purple shadows, sometimes dotted with whitecaps, often turquoise blue without a ripple. In the oppo site direction, the water of the Stehekin is hidden by near-by crags, but one can trace its val ley up above the tree line and to the river's source in streams below Cascade Pass and Horse shoe Basin. On clear days one can see the snow-capped peaks above that basin. Down the steep slopes which almost surround me come the Keith C. Langfield When the Wind Blows, the Station Does Rock! State and Federal agencies cooperate in manning this lookout crown ing a tall ponderosa pine. The tree stands in a Washington State forest along the eastern boundary of Columbia National Forest. The guard is employed by the State, trained by the U. S. Forest Service, and has telephone connections with both State and Federal fire dis patchers. Most tree lookouts consist merely of platforms; this one is unusual for being a cabin.