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Fire tower — like a lighthouse in the woods


I have long been fascinated by fire towers. Like lighthouses, they appeal to introverts because of their isolation and because they are found in appealing places — beside a coast, or in a forest. They have all the magic of promontories. Plus, fire towers have a certain nerdy appeal, because of the observation and communications apparatus that they contain.

It happens that, in Fugue in Ursa Major, I use a fire tower as a setting. When writing the descriptions of the fire tower, I had to rely on research. But on a recent trip to the North Carolina coast, I had a chance to examine this fire tower up close and verify that my descriptions of the fire tower were accurate.

Wikipedia has a pretty good article on fire towers, also called lookout towers. They vary in height, but the tallest one in the United States is 175 feet.

The cabin

The landing

One of the eight landings on the way up

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