I love those books that present themselves to you quite by accident. I found this one when killing time before a meeting, and leafing through the sales shelf. Connors writes of his time as a fire lookout in the wilds of New Mexico.
Tom and I visited one of these fire lookout towers several years ago in California. The long journey out to the tower, and the intimidating scale up the ladder to get to the top, all made it feel so distanced from the everyday.
The guy was super friendly and his tower was kitted out with a few quirky creature comforts, including on old Nintendo system. He spoke of what a desirable job this was, but one that only appealed to a certain character. Days hanging out in the wild, staring at the huge vista all around you sounds pretty appealing to me.
Connors’ writing drew me straight in. He has a natural way of writing about the big country and his tiny part in it, weaving history, conservation and politics in to the individual anecdotes of his months looking out for wildfires in the Gila National Forest.
It’s clear that Connors never felt bored during his time alone, and his book never drags. I relished the descriptions of wild country, and his perspective on our place in it. The very best kind of nature writing.