Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Fire Towers of the Adirondacks"

I'm not usually one to support man-made structures on mountain tops, but for me the iconic Adirondack Fire Tower gets a free pass. Once manned by "great observers of the land" to help get a headstart on pesky forest fires below, they are now primarily used for educating hikers about the surrounding land and getting a 360 degree unobstructed view. Of coarse towers come in handy for other simple things in life, such as getting above the treeline for a consistantly strong breeze to escape the bugs and heat below, a lunch break, or even as shade from the sometimes brutal Sun! There are still a few I haven't had the pleasure of climbing yet, but hopefully I will in due time. I remember climbing the tallest in the Adks. on Wakely, which is about 100 Ft.. You could either climb the stairs, or if you're real brave there is a small decrepit metal ladder that goes up the outside of the tower, that is about a foot wide. This is not for the faint of heart and is dangerous due to nuts and bolts missing along the way! The picture I have here is of the old worn out tower on Hurricane Mtn., or "Nodoneyo" which means "Hill of Wind" in Native toungue. It's amazing that some of these towers are still standing after all the weather they've endured through the decades! It's great to see some of them get a makover, but on the other hand it's a shame that they all can't. They are forever imbedded in the history of the park, and should be treated with the respect they deserve!