It’s a romantic life, staffing a fire lookout. These sentries, who pass their summer days surveying for fire starts, enjoy unmatched solitude, time to drink their coffee in peace every morning, and hours on end of simply soaking up the sun. Anyone who lives in Kalispell, or who is considering Kalispell real estate for sale, should know just how close this way of life is—a number of day hikes into the mountains overlooking the Flathead Valley can put you on the doorstep of a historic lookout! Great Big Story, a global media company that produces cinematic storytelling, recently published the tale of Leif Haugen, a lookout in the Flathead National Forest.
“For the past 24 years, Leif Haugen has spent his summers living alone atop a mountain in Montana’s pristine wilderness,” reads a caption on the short, nearly three-minute film, titled King of the Hill. “As a fire lookout for the U.S. Forest Service, Leif is charged with protecting the surrounding landscape, watching for signs of fire from his solitary perch. Spending up to two weeks alone at a time, he spends his days unwinding amid the peace and quiet, watching as the world passes him by.”
“For Leif, watching the world go by among the pristine wilderness makes it all worth it,” Great Big Story posted to Facebook.
Haugen works ten days on, four days off, from late June to mid-September. Most mornings, he brews a cup of coffee, watches the sun rise, and takes a walk through the beargrass.
“It’s a pretty quiet existence,” Haugen says in the film. “It’s just you and the wind, and the time just melts away.”
At 10 a.m., he checks in to provide dispatch with basic information about the wind and temperature. He takes the weather again at 2 p.m., then checks out for the day at 4:15 p.m. When there’s no fire, he says, the only time he usually speaks with anyone is when he calls dispatch, unless he’s talking to himself as he watches the world go by. As a result, he says, he doesn’t always translate his thoughts into words. It’s pure feeling.
“You intuit it, you experience it,” he says. “You feel it, you sense it.”
You can visit Haugen and hike to any number of mountaintops across Northwest Montana with a lookout perched up high. Or, with Kalispell real estate for sale, you can find your own piece of property overlooking the wilderness. Give us a call anytime to discuss properties, or browse Kalispell real estate online.
PHOTO: Kalispell real estate for sale, featuring Nhn Browns Gulch Road. For more information, contact Justin Sheeran at (406) 261-9855.