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Old Oct 16, 2014, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Cook Forest Fire Tower

Took a trip up a bit North last Saturday to this incredible State Forest and Natural Landmark. "Cook" was an old time lumber baron who gifted a swath of uncut old growth forest to be a park back in the 19th Century--the story is that he felt this land was too beautiful to clear and should be saved for future generations (more cynical people might say that it was a chunk of land he wasn't going to use anyway and preferred a tax break). Anyhow, as most of the state was cleared for timber, or coal, or oil, or farms at one time or another; it's a tremendous thing to still have around. The original part of the park is old, large white pine and hemlock.

This isn't that part of the park. Off from the more visited areas, this firetower was built in the late 20s to guard against forest fires. On a high hill (but not on a cliff), from above the trees I guess you can see about 25 miles. I got there very early in the morning before the crowds arrived.

(lots of CA in this shot)
Cook Forest-84-Edit.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

You can't get into the "building" on the top except for on special days, but you can climb the stairway (which was old and rickety and swayed in the breeze).

Cook Forest-21-Edit.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

I wish I could have composed some more interesting shots from up there, but I have to be honest--heights and ladders are certainly not my thing, and it was hard to think artistically and check settings and such with one hand on the camera and the other with a death grip on the rail.

Cook Forest-11.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Cook Forest-10.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Back on the ground though, there was a neat overlook on a nice solid boulder where you could see through the tree cover.

Cook Forest-41.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

After a bit of time up there by myself, I headed off to the main part of the park for a nice walk along the firm reassuring ground.

Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Oct 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM.
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Old Oct 17, 2014, 7:50 PM   #2
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......fantastic series here Sammy. Too bad you were there on the off day, perhaps inside the observation deck you would have felt more comfortable.

Nevertheless, I truly enjoy seeing these images, thanks for sharing your day.

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Old Oct 18, 2014, 12:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for a great series Sammy. Being from Michigan I've climbed a few of those rickety towers myself. Sadly, I remember towers being retired and dismantled in favor of aerial observation. Most the lookouts in Oregon are built on peaks so little need to add elevation to the structure. Beautiful views nonetheless but I miss that "weak in the knees" feeling. Thanks for the history lesson as well.
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Old Oct 18, 2014, 11:27 AM   #4
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An excellent series Sammy. Well done.
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Old Oct 18, 2014, 9:36 PM   #5
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Fantastic pictures Sammy,

My favorites are #1 and #3.
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Old Oct 20, 2014, 7:24 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. "The Day After" I didn't really like them that much, but they're growing on me again, haha.

Here's some more shots, these from inside the old forest. Being evergreen, they're a bit darker and with a little less undergrowth than most of the woods 'round these parts. I was hoping to capture a little of the atmosphere I felt while there, not sure that that worked but I still like these for what they are.

Cook Forest-132.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Cook Forest-152.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Cook Forest-170.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Wanted to try some wides, to get the feeling of the "Forest Cathedral" as they call this place, but they didn't really look like anything but a bunch of trees to me (which I guess is what it really is, haha). I've never gotten a really good wide landscape under the woods, if that makes sense. Need to focus in on details instead.

Cook Forest-174.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Cook Forest-223.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Cook Forest-190.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Cook Forest-162.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Was hoping to catch some rays peeking through the leaves--there wasn't as much as I was hoping but here's one.

Cook Forest-100-Edit.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr

Finally, a small sapling, springing from the disintegrating remains of a fallen giant:

Cook Forest-197.jpg by sammykhalifa, on Flickr
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Old Oct 20, 2014, 7:48 PM   #7
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Wow, what a beautiful place and pictures.

Unfortunately your pictures don't have exif info, what lenses did you use?
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Old Oct 20, 2014, 8:02 PM   #8
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Thank you very much Marcelo.

Oh, I'm sorry about the EXIF.I thought it would attach from Flikr. These new ones are with the 45 and my Panasonic 20mm. A few of the ones from the Tower site are with my widest lens the 14.

This was the first time I encountered the issue people have with the 20mm where it doesn't focus very fast in low light. Of course in this case it was not a big deal as trees don't move very fast. I still like this lens a lot.



Can you see through this link?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/661542...7648826142806/

I don't know if it will get you there or not--Flikr keeps on changing permissions on me.
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