Friday, March 2, 2012

Part 2 - The Fire Tower On Beebe Hill

The hike up Beebe Hill to the fire tower was quite brief, less than 1.5 miles, and it wasn't long before I spotted the caretaker's cabin up ahead with the fire tower itself rising up behind it:

A man with two little girls and a small dog arrived at the same time we did. He told me that he hadn't brought a leash for his dog and didn't want her interacting with mine, so I said I'd wait by the caretaker's cabin while he and his girls went on ahead to the fire tower. While I was waiting with my dogs on a leash, a friendly family of six adults arrived to explore the tower for themselves:

I tied Seamus and Fergus at the bottom of the fire tower:

And Clover and Daphne to the other side. I didn't want any of them attempting to follow me up those steps:

And then I began ascending the fire tower. As I climbed, the caretaker's cabin began to look smaller and smaller down below. The Taconic Mountains formed an attractive backdrop:

One couple did not want to climb the tower, so they waited on the ground for the rest of their party, by now at the top of the fire tower. My dogs were barking for attention and by time I arrived back down on ground level, this couple had made friends with all four dogs:

And the view from the top was superb, clearer than I'd ever seen it before. I could clearly see the windmills atop Brodie Mountain and Mount Greylock in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Alas, the photo doesn't show enough detail to be of much help, but even my aging eyes were able to clearly see the windmills' details. I couldn't, however, make out the tower atop Mount Greylock:

The towers of the Empire State Plaza in Albany rose up above the trees like the city of Oz in the distance, about 40 miles away:

I enlarged and cropped the above photo to help illustrate what I so clearly saw on that sunny afternoon. Because most of Albany's downtown sits down in a valley, only the Empire State Plaza (and sometimes the State University towers) are usually visible from mountaintops. Can't you just imagine Dorothy, Toto and friends following the yellow brick road toward that city in the distance?:

And the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley stretched out below us in another direction:

Seamus and Fergus looked quite tiny down on the ground below:

I had a nice conversation about hiking with a man from Pittsfield, Massachusetts as we stood at the top of the fire tower enjoying the view. But it was windy and my dogs were anxious, so I began to descend the stairs to continue the hike back to the trail head:

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