Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


Back to the recent trail. When I arrived at the top of Slate Peak, this was the beautiful sight that greeted me: A hih-falutin' lookout tower built a full three storeys high. I found out the next day that originally this mountain had featured a tapering, more naturally-shaped top with a little lookout cabin on top. In the 1950s when America was worried about the commies, the US Air Force caught wind of this location and had to have it. Soon they carted off the old lookout and lopped the top of the mountain clean off, leaving a flat place for them to install a giant radar faciliy meant to detect the presence of enemy aircraft and, presumably, to use as a James Bond movie set. As the years wore on, enemies became friends and other friends became enemies, but not enemies that anyone was interested in looking at a radar screen all day for, so the Air Force moved on and granted the mountain back to the people who like to scan for forest fires all the time. Someone with a good deal of architectural ambition decided to build a new lookout cabin atop a scaffolding structure so that the vantage point for the non-acrophobic lookout would be precisely what it would have been when the original mountaintop still stood. What does it all mean? Another place to count in the PCT '08 Hot Springs and High Points tour. I scrambled past the warning sign and dropped pack two-thirds of the way up, since the catwalk at the top is blocked by a locked trapdoor. No worries, 2.5 x 6 feet is plenty of room for a bivuoac. In 50 mph winds. Seriously.

Surprisingly I didn't burn the fire tower down trying to cook plain unseasoned couscous. What IS couscous anyways? Well yeah, I mean besides nasty and unappetizing.

The first stair platform from the second, my perch for the night.

A man oughtn't call himself Flying Bobcat iffun he don't fly, ya reckon? Another golden sunrise, another day. This is THE life. (sic) This is LIFE.

You want to know what the hell this is about? Well get your butt up to Washington and see for yourself. I'll escort you there if you like.


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