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RumiDude
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PostSat Sep 12, 2020 12:35 pm 
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Thought some of you might enjoy this short video about Bill Austin, a fire lookout guy in Methow.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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lopper
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PostSat Sep 12, 2020 6:30 pm 
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Yes, thank you for that video link.  Love the Methow.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostMon Sep 14, 2020 7:48 am 
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I have had the fun of chatting with Lightning Bill at Goat Peak a couple of times during his time there. He had a friendly dog he named Lookout Turk.
If you asked Bill what it was like to be there during a lightning storm, he would say the same thing he says in the video: "It's like being inside a lightbulb!"

I can imagine.

Then he pulls out his book of self- composed lookout poetry.
Fun stuff.

(another time when another person was staffing Goat Peak, I actually startled awake the sleeping young firewatcher as I climbed the short flight of stairs. A large thunderstorm was brewing nearby).  confused.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Sep 14, 2020 10:06 am 
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I spoke with the lookout on Miners Ridge about the lightning strik about 50 Fromm the lookout. He was on the lightning stool away from the windows and stove.  That did not leave much room.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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RumiDude
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PostMon Sep 14, 2020 11:27 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
He was on the lightning stool away from the windows and stove. That did not leave much room.

I talked to a lookout at Thorp Mountain and asked him if he had been through a lightning storm and what he did. He said he had been through several and demonstrated how he squated on the lightning stool. I then asked if that was tiring and he said "very tiring". I asked how long he has had to use it and he said a few hours but it felt like days. he also told me he once thought the storm was over so he got off the stool only to have lightning strike almost immediately about 150' away. He hopped back on the stool after that.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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lopper
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 7:16 pm 
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Thorp Mtn Lookout:

I had a co-worker 30 yrs ago who had been a lookout on Thorp Mtn after returning from a stint in Vietnam.

He provided a very vivid description of sitting out lightning storms on Thorp.  The blinding strikes battering the ridge-line in explosive fashion.

Our workplace was a necktie-wearing corporate bubble. Early 80s.  His time on Thorp was the late 1960s.  It was fun to reminisce about USFS employment.  I don't think my blasting-crew stories were as riveting as his lightning-strike descriptions.
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moonspots
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 7:26 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
I spoke with the lookout on Miners Ridge about the lightning strik about 50 Fromm the lookout. He was on the lightning stool away from the windows and stove.  That did not leave much room.

"Lightning stool"? Are you able to describe that to us (me)?  Fiberglass or some other material? The entire stool or just the legs (or part of)?

Thank you

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 7:40 am 
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The lightning stool is a small wooden stool about a foot high with glass insulators like old school power line insulators on the legs. Someone will probably post a pix. Things are pretty boring now. huh.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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texasbb
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 7:43 am 
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moonspots wrote:
"Lightning stool"? Are you able to describe that to us (me)?  Fiberglass or some other material? The entire stool or just the legs (or part of)?

Thank you

The one I've seen was a wooden stool, maybe 18 inches high, with glass insulators (like you see on telephone poles) glued upside down over the feet.  Like this:

I can't imagine being on one for hours at a time.
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moonspots
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 9:29 am 
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texasbb wrote:
I can't imagine being on one for hours at a time.


Hmmm, interesting. Although I think this would be more "placebo" than effective. But, I have to admit that they ARE nice looking.  up.gif

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moonspots
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 9:35 am 
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RumiDude wrote:
Thought some of you might enjoy this short video about Bill Austin, a fire lookout guy in Methow.

Rumi

Nice! I really like this one!

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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