Just beyond the junction where the Arizona Trail turns north I rounded a bend and saw…
…this really dilapidated old residence that once housed, maybe, Edward Abbey during his time working at the North Rim Lookout between 1969 and 1971.
Don’t think it’s been used for a while
And the outhouse out back.
I was determined to climb to the top of the tower.
It seemed really odd to be looking at the tree tops.
And even more strange to look down.
Back at the two-track trail I hiked in on.
Trap door into the tower
When I got to the top I was happy to see it wasn’t locked. The wind had picked up as I climbed above the trees and it was kind of scary.
But once inside the 7×7 foot lookout the view was to die for. (Not literally mind you.)
The stand in the middle of this tiny room used to hold an Osborn fire finder, sort of like a giant compass, to help locate where smoke was seen.
The pad of paper had many messages from people who had visited the tower. Several sought the ghost of Abbey. I had nothing to write with so scratched my message into the paper with a rusty paper clip then wiped ashes over the top.
View south of San Francisco Peaks
I hung out for about an hour, just me, the wind, and the bird songs.
Then I had to climb back down.
And on the way, was finally able to take a photo of the inside of the tower. It’s too small while you’re in it. And that’s when the batteries in my camera went dead, as were the spares. I’m going back to Lithiums because the dam rechargables don’t last. But I’ll bet you’re glad there’s no more photos.
“The first thing I did was urinate off the rim onto a little aspen tree waiting patiently below. It was a semiconscious act, no offense meant, signifying a claim to territoriality. But I have belonged to the Grand Canyon ever since, possessing and possessed by the spirit of the place.” –Edward Abbey
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