I mentioned to Tammy that I thought we might still see some Fall color as we went South and it turned out I was right. We started to see evidence of very LATE fall color in Southern Indiana. The weather was nice enough and we had done a good job of keeping moving on our travels thus far. So, we decided to stop at the Clark State Forest to do a little walking around (and eat some lunch).
We weren't entirely sure what we were getting ourselves into as we pulled off the highway. There was some mention of a waterfall in the area, so we thought we might find it (we didn't). Really, all we wanted was to see a little bit of nature and walk around for a bit.
The entrance to the park had a public area that catered more to human entertainment. Things like picnic shelters, basketball courts, etc. So, we drove deeper into the park and found ourselves climbing quite a bit. Eventually, we found a place to park and identified an interesting thing to do.
We usually take our camera with us on trips like this, so I took a picture of the thing that caught our attention. I found that I might be a little bit close to take a picture of it. But, I tried anyway. The results is what you see to the left.
You've probably already guessed this was a fire watch tower. But, if you haven't...
It's a fire watch tower.
It was fairly clear that it was no longer used for that purpose and it was maintained so people like us could climb up and take a look around. I am not particularly fond of heights, but Tammy doesn't mind them. So, not to be outdone by my lovely bride, I climbed up the tower with her. After all, I had the camera. Someone had to take pictures.
|See! I did get to the top!|
Of course, some time after we returned home, I was curious to learn a little more about this forest, so I did a little looking around. After all, unless you live in southern Indiana, you don't think of that area for its forests. An Iowan can be just as guilty of making assumptions about Indiana as an Indianan might be regarding Iowa. Seems fair. Or at least, it seems honest.
It turns out that part of the reason for some of the area's initial designation had to do with a realization that the state of the lumber industry in southern Indiana in the last 1800's to early 1900's was in danger due to over harvest of the trees in the forests. So, some of this area was actually established as a nursery to start trees that would be moved elsewhere. While I am glad that this was done, I am also disappointed that, once again, we humans won't do anything to support nature unless we see something in it for us.
Maybe we need to force people to climb the fire tower and take a look. But, then again, taking a look doesn't mean they're going to see.
As for Tammy and I, we would walk in the woods if we could. We know others might like to as well. But, even if we couldn't walk in the woods, we still want them to be there, because it doesn't all have to be about us.