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Sheep_herder and Dennis Have Some Nice Options

Razors Edge

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....for fire lookout bike touring!

Not sure how far @sheep_herder is from Kootenai, but darn, it looks SWEET!

More than 8,000 fire lookouts were built across the U.S. in the aftermath of the megafires of the early 20th century, with the largest concentration in the mountainous Northwest. It was a network of mountaintop structures unique in the world for its scale and ambition, but airplanes and satellites slowly whittled away at its utility. Though a few hundred are still in use, most were destroyed or left to waste away in the post-World War II era. Fortunately a preservation movement arose in the early 1980s and shortly thereafter a program to rent out some of the remaining lookouts began. It’s grown incrementally over the years, and now the Kootenai National Forest in this backwoods corner of Montana — also renowned for its excellent bike-touring options — is the epicenter of rentable fire lookouts in the U.S.

Touring between them is possible if you don’t mind long rides on gravel roads with each day ending naturally with a monster climb. Or do what Dad, Ron, and I did with Garver and reserve one for two nights in a row, leaving you free to explore the high country for a day. In our case, after securing water from a spring a half-mile downslope, we jumped on our unloaded mountain bikes and followed the golden thread of alpine trails until the views opened to an uninhabited spread of forested valleys topped with rocky peaks. We laid the bikes down and hiked up an open knoll to take in the scene.

...and @denniS could identify with this sort of terrain:


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We've tried to book some fire towers. It's hard. You have to make your reservation six months in advance and they are booked immediately. You have to do it at midnight, then hope you can book #2, #3, #4 etc. each night. 

We might do another hut trip, fire tower trip, or Vancouver Island. 

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