Always come prepared. Sometimes that means bringing the right gear so you don’t freeze your ass off (Mt. Lassen). Other times, it means researching the place you’re going before you get there so that you don’t hike in the dark because the trail is 10x longer than you anticipated (Shi Shi Beach). This time however, being prepared would have entailed bringing a big truck with 4 wheel drive and high clearance. NOT a Prius which shakes violently on gravel roads and hovers just 6 inches above the ground.
The road to the Sierra Buttes fire watchtower was a beast. I saw 4WD trucks that couldn’t handle the intense bends, steep inclines, and vast holes. So when I pulled up in my Prius, I realized that I’d be doing a bit of extra walking. Honestly I didn’t mind that part though because it gave me a bit of extra exercise to make the destination just that much more rewarding and I ran into my old friend that I hadn’t seen since my last road trip, Mr. PCT
The finale of the hike is excellent, with a narrow set of rickety metal stairs that snakes up a steep incline. Finally, it reaches a watchtower perched atop some precariously oddly shaped boulders at the tip of a mountain. The view is breathtaking and I couldn’t have asked for better weather.
Having turned over a new leaf by waking up at dawn (a feet that most of my good friends and family would have previously believed unthinkable), I had the tower all to myself.
I really hope that I get a chance to go back and next time I’ll bring my camping gear, some beers, and a few friends since I’d imagine the sunset and night sky would be an incredible feast for the eyes.