Monument Peak Lookout
Somehow this ended up being posted on this site with a blank page. I was doing a search, and must have hit a magic button to publish it here. I had so many hits on it that today I will try to satisfy your curiosity.
MONUMENT PEAK LOOKOUT
Monument Lookout, was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, in the Little Belt Mountains of Montana. It hasn’t been used since 1970, and in 1999 was removed from its 50-foot pole, but restored and placed below the original high rise.
This was where Hub and I spent the summer of 1964 or 65. We were hired by the US Forest Service to man this location and spot forest fires in the Little Belt Mountains, and surrounding area. Yes, it was an interesting way to spend a summer, sitting fifty-feet off the ground in a glass house with the elevation already at 7,400 feet. Carrying supplies up those too-numerous-to-count stairs, and back down to visit the out-house. It brings to mind training for the Olympics, or pretending to be a mountain goat.
We were supplied with two-way radios, and checked into the main office three or four times a day, to report an all-clear. There were also spotter airplanes sent from Great Falls to fly the area, and alert us to any smoke we may have missed. On our first day or so the pilot of the spotter plane radioed us, asking if we had him in our sights. Not being able to lie, we kept saying no, we can’t see you yet. Finally, he told us to open up the door because he was coming in. Pretty embarrassed, we never again missed sighting his plane, and the moment, he radioed he was leaving Great Falls, one of us had him in our sights. Of course, this radio contact had gone out to everyone in our fire district, and caused a lot of laughter, and jokes.
For a little more on life in a fire lookout station you will have to watch for the premier of “The Wild Side of Alaska” coming soon to Amazon.