Little Bald Lookout - Circa 1970-1973



 Little Bald Lookout, as it looked in 1972. The view is toward the northeast, roughly along the ridge line. The land to the right slopes gently away in high meadow and pine. To the left, it drops abruptly with the top of the high bluff just a few feet from the base of the stairs. The silver tank next to the near right footing is propane, a "luxury" that was not available in my days. It might be noted, however, that the propane stove was a prime suspect in the fire that destroyed the lookout in 1980.


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» Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this page are the property of Barbara Jones.

  This is one of the shots I took while flying over Little Bald lookout in the early '70s. The Little Bald tower is visible near the center of the shot, at the end of the road angling up from the lower right. The road forks at its far left switchback and the other spur heads left up the ridge to Clover Springs, a primitive USFS campground and source of water for the lookout. The road in the upper right quadrant is a logging road that branches off the Bumping Lake highway and zig-zags up the south side of American Ridge, reaching more than halfway to the Goat Peak lookout site. A short stretch of Highway 410 is just visible in the far upper right.
 This shot, with Barbara perched near the door, was taken from a helicopter working near the lookout in 1972. The view is toward the west and reveals good detail of the strut-less "Aladdin" shutter supports. Although these eliminated minor visual obstructions of the older style strut supports, they made the process of raising the shutters a real challenge, especially for a lone lookout. The aircraft identification markings on the roof are also in clear view. The top of the stairway is just visible on the left.
 This is roughly the reciprocal view of the above shot, looking east across the firefinder and out the door. It shows some good detail of the firefinder and you can even make out the two main area roads on the map: Highway 401 and the Bumping Lake highway. As you can see, the firefinder is mounted on slide bars that permit the operator to shift it just enough to sight past window frames, corner support, etc..

  This is the base of the firefinder stand, with Barbara's dog "relaxing" as only dogs can do. You can see the old, crank-style phone that connected to the Naches Ranger Station. It was my primary means of communication in the '50s, with a battery powered radio serving as backup in case of lightning or downed phonelines. Barbara obviously had a good supply of maps and pamphlets to offer her frequent visitors.
  Here's the "kitchen", looking toward the southwest. Old Scab fills the right half of the window and the "luxurious" gas stove sits in the corner behind the trusty old wood stove. The edge of the firefinder stand and the phone is just visible on the right.
  Here's the same view from outside, on the catwalk. Old Scab, Mount Rainier and the snow-covered Cascades fill the western horizon. The Bumping Lake highway runs up the drainage behind Old Scab. Judging from the amount of snow still on the mountain tops, this shot was taken early in the season.
  The "office", with Barbara's portable radio sitting on the right. The view is toward the northwest, across the Bumping Lake highway and in the general direction Raven's Roost Lookout and Naches Pass.


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