Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ute Lookout Tower

Ok, so this is the Ute Mountain Lookout Tower I was telling a few of you about. This is a neat Historical Site that is interactive. The volunteers on duty were very knowledgeable about the history of this, and they had some neat things to tell and show us.

This is actually the last standing Fire Lookout tower in all of Utah. It was built in 1936 by young men of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). It became operable in 1937 and was manned always by 2 people. The National Forest Service started advertising for newlywed couples to spend their honeymoons here. While here, they would be on the lookout for fires. The tower was/is self sustaining. The people stationed here would pack in their supplies. There's a bed, stove, desk and all the fire sighting equipment up there. (The bathroom is down the stairs and out about 50 yards...)

<---This picture is the device they used to locate/pinpoint and call in coordinates where the fire was. (I can't remember what they call it...) But, you would look through that tiny slit on the gold part, then line up the cross hairs on the back part with the fire. That gave an exact location for where the fire was. So, the wife (usually) would stay up in the tower and call in the coordinates, while the husband was the First Responder to the fire. The blue part that looks like a globe has the topography of the land. Every river, stream, peak, canyon (and anything I forgot) is labeled.

They had all kinds of tools to determine weather: forecast, temperature, wind speed, velocity, humidity and a few other things I cannot remember. The wife would call all this information in as well.

It became inoperable in the late 60's or early 70's, being replaced by technology, increased air traffic, and more people on the ground in the area. A few sentimental couples decided to have this restored and added to Utah's Historical Sites. I am sure glad they did. It's so rich in history! This was the first tower built, and is the last one standing. The forest service demolished all the other ones.

While up in the tower, you are at an altitude of roughly 9000 feet above sea level. The views are incredible! I took TONS of pictures. Here's some looking off the tower:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Brownie Lake

My last weekend camping trip; this time to Brownie Lake, just Jimmy and me. We rode the 4-wheeler over 100 miles over all kinds of terrain. If you go up there, don't try the trail that heads South just past the Brownie Dam. It was super aggressive!!
We did some fishing, but everytime we tried to get out on the lake, a big thunderstorm would roll in. I managed to catch 3 fish before I broke my fishing pole.
This pic was taken at Spirit Lake, about a 10 mile ride from Brownie. I have some pretty cool pics, but I didn't get many. The weather just did not cooperate! If you look close, you can see the raindrops on the lake. I love the mountains just after a storm at sunset. The colors are absolutely surreal!


This is the coolest dog ever!