Who among us has not dreamt of a summer spent as a fire lookout? Walking in the steps, or perhaps, sitting in the chair of old Ed Abbey, silently observing bright splashes of terrain in 360 degrees. Really, truly spending time with a specific natural place, not only memorizing the scenery but becoming also a part of it. There are still hundreds of fire lookouts throughout the West, despite advances in satellite fire-spotting technology and communications. Leif Haugen works at this lookout (or did, maybe) in Montana’s Flathead National Forest. This intimate look at his time there is beautiful and reminds of the importance of vigilance and connects us with an analog past of actually watching the physical world, not filtering it through an electronic screen.

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