This was definitely a type 2 fun kind of trip. With a very late start to our first day, this trip to the Harrison Fire Lookout Tower turned out to be an excellent challenge, with its fair share of of ups and downs.
Starting in Harrison Mills, our ride to the lookout trailhead followed a long, hilly gravel road, which crossed a handful of rivers and through patchy forests and cutblocks. The only people we saw along the route were folks on quads and beastly looking 4×4 rigs. They were friendly but seemed to think we were a bit crazy for riding pedal bikes out there. Pat (former pizza master) had a bunch of leftover slices from his shift that day, which kept us well feed for our evening adventure.
The sun was setting as we neared the trailhead. We spent a bit of time locating the overgrown trail and quickly realized that the adventure hadn’t even begun yet. The tower was only 2 km away but the terrain was steep and overgrown so trudging our bikes up there was no joke! Things got a little more hectic after it had gotten completely dark. At one point I was hoisting my bike up onto a rocky ledge, and it came crashing down on my head. My noggin was shedding blood but luckily it wasn’t too serious, and we pushed on. That would be the last time I hiked my bike without my helmet on.
We arrived at the lookout tower around midnight with just enough energy to set up camp, enjoy a whiskey and reflect on what in the heck just happened. We were quite low on water so we had to ration it off. The inside of the tower was dry and habitable but smelled a bit musty so we ended up sleeping on the outside deck. We were a little haunted by the sounds coming from the underside of the tower. I imagine it was some sort of rodent living down there, but it was pretty unsettling in the middle of the night.
We woke up bright and early to catch the sunrise and snap some photos before migrating inside to catch a bit more sleep, and avoid the rain which was starting to spit. After waking up, we had some coffee and a little breakfast before beginning our descent. The hike down was much more pleasant since we had daylight and fresh legs. We were getting anxious to drop back down to one of the rivers, as we were basically out of water. After we reached the river, we enjoyed freeze dried lasagna for our second breakfast.