Imagine booking a weekend at this lookout—the Summit Prairie Lookout—and forgetting to bring your binocs? Facepalm of the century. Who knows what you’d see up there? The lookout is in the middle of a private land parcel surrounded by the Umpqua National Forest, on the western slope of the Cascades in Oregon. It rises 40 feet above an 80-acre meadow, part of 160 acres of privately owned property. It’s remote, it’s quiet, it’s pretty close to heaven.

The lookout sleeps four, with a full kitchen, fireplace, wraparound deck, outdoor shower…and, well, that’s all nice, but look at that view. It could be a rotted clapboard deck and a rusted cot up there and it would still be worth it. That’s it’s a cozy, well-decorated cabin on stilts transforms it into magic.

Okay, so you want in. Well, there’s a catch. They only take bookings for the entire 2019 season on two days. March 3rd takes care of the first half of the season, and June 2nd the second half. They book the whole year within minutes. How’s your booking jiu-jitsu? They open the proceedings and, bang, their servers are flooded with requests, requiring flexibility and lots of browser refreshing on your end. Maybe some begging.

It will all be worth it though that first night on the deck, looking out over the Cascades, no sounds but the wind in the trees, the hooting of an owl, and your own giggling at your good fortune.

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Photos: courtesy Alan Colley