Thursday, June 16, 2011

Return To The Grafton Fire Tower Trail, Part 1

You may remember that earlier in the spring, when there was still ice on the trail, I hiked the Fire Tower Trail at Grafton Lakes State Park trying to find its fire tower. I never found the fire tower, and I also had my first heart palpitations which led, a few weeks later, to my getting a heart stint. This return to the trail would be a test for me. Would I have problems hiking uphill? The dogs and I began slowly, enjoying the initial flatness and the luxuriant greenery:

But soon the trail turned gradually uphill. I remembered being winded the last time and fearful of my heart palpitations, but this time it all seemed rather flat. I guess my heart was doing just fine:

This time I found the fire tower, and it was a beauty. It was built in 1924, so it was 87 years old. At 60 feet high, I was sure to get a magnificent view. The wooden steps and platforms had just been repaired and the president of the Friends Of Grafton Fire Tower was there to check out the work. He also told me he was publishing a book about the tower which would be out in July and and a 97 year old woman, who made history here as the first woman to work as a fire tower observer, would be there also. I hope to attend the signing. But the task at hand was climbing up to the top of that tower:

I tied my four dogs to saplings at the foot of the tower and began climbing. At the second platform, I looked down to see how they were doing:

At the fourth platform they were beginning to look very small:

When I reached the sixth platform, my dogs were looking tiny. They also were not happy at being left behind:

At the eighth platform, the final step before entering the cab, I took one last look down at the dogs. I was almost at the top and was not even winded. My heart was doing just fine. I'll post the view from the top tomorrow:

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