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Eric Willhite
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Eric Willhite
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PostWed Jul 13, 2016 1:42 am 
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The weather sucked on Saturday so I drove up 5 mountains in NE Washington.  6 standing lookouts visited.  Here are the updates:

Cody Butte Lookout

Cornell Butte Lookout

Grizzly Mountain Lookout

Tunk Mountain Lookout

Whitmore Lookouts 1 & 2

Also tried for Keller Butte Lookout but the ridge road is "closed until further notice"

Last seasons fires almost took out the Whitmore ground house and fires did damage some of Cornell.

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Taking a break from peakbagging to do some lookout bagging.
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Jaberwock
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Jaberwock
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PostWed Jul 13, 2016 6:17 am 
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up.gif
Eric, our personal fire lookout ambassador. Thanks!
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Magellan
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Magellan
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PostWed Jul 13, 2016 9:13 pm 
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Great stuff Eric.  up.gif  Amazing how poor of shape some of these are in.
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Paul M
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Paul M
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PostSun Jul 17, 2016 10:16 pm 
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Great work Eric. I'm glad these are still standing.... and hope more folks visit these historic sites before they are gone.

Reaching Grizzly is an adventure. When Craig, Katie, and I went there I actually drove up the dotted road stitching up the slope SE of the peak until connecting to the black line on your map. It was beyond horrible in places but I also made it to the lookout in my vehicle. We thought about descending the road you came up when we reached that junction but without knowing what  was below decided it wasn't worth  the risk.

Did you happen to visit the true Grizzly HP? The summit is actually pretty cool and has a large stone cairn still standing that was constructed during a US Geological Survey visit in 1899. The Bench Mark reference can be found here: Paint Rock
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
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PostThu Sep 08, 2016 9:57 pm 
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Eric, I visited all of these except Grizzly during Sept. 7 and 8th ( repair of  a bridge on the access road put us too short on time to drive around the long way from the east instead of from Highway 21).

There was a truck with an occupant lounging inside playing on her cell phone on top of Whitmore and it turns out she was the lookout staff person.  A truck is an odd place to spot fires, seems to me, when the tower is right there.
I failed to inspect the old cabin. I wish I had copied your report to bolster my failed memory! I wonder from your picture on your Washington lookouts page if the mystery foundation could be a cistern to trap rainwater for use.

The last 3/4 mile to Cody Butte is indeed pretty rough. I chickened out and didn't drive my new truck up that part (and partly not to scare my wife too much!). Much to our surprise there was a BIA one-ton  fire truck on top, dual wheels and all! One can take more chances when not operating one's own vehicle, I guess. Climbing the tower to the small observation station was eerie in a strong wind.  Fire damage to the forest on the road up there is simultaneously very impressive and a bit depressing.

Once again I wish I had copied your map for getting to Cornell Butte. We wasted some time with all of the spur roads by using an insufficient map.
But the lookout setting was great! Fireweed has already covered the badly burned slopes.  I climbed the tower but wouldn't have done so if the steps had been removed on any other than the first flight.  If that tower wasn't steel it would have burned to the ground, not just the wooden floor.

My favorite of these on this trip was Tunk Mountain. I had previously visited it 17 years ago in March, but on that trip is was so cold and windy that I didn't linger. There are a lot of new installations for communications, it being such a prominent location, and I am glad the tower remains at the highest point.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Status update for 6 standing lookouts
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