The QALO Team: David's View From the Top
At QALO, we believe that the outdoors is life’s greatest playground. We encourage that the team of people that work within these walls to get outside and explore what life has to offer. In fact, we celebrate it! David, our Digital Marketing & E-commerce Manager, and his fiancé, Katie, spent 2 nights in the Oak Flat Fire Lookout – a real Bucket List activity where you get to sleep 50ft above a mountaintop! Let's see how it went!
David and Katie love adventure. But even they have to admit that snagging this location took more than a little bit of planning to pull off.
The fire lookouts along the west coast are highly desirable for obvious reasons, so that means that many are not available for overnight stays. When this one became available, David and Katie were super excited.
David says, “My super stellar, incredibly good looking and SUPER funny fiancé (soon to be wife), Katie, found it while searching for our next location on her phone. Once she saw the tower, she knew she needed to get us a night.”
But, like so many locations that are high on people’s bucket lists, getting a night there wasn’t incredibly easy.
That’s because the booking agent, “Reserve America,” only opens up 1 night at a time 6 months in advance. So, if you want to get a night, you need to get up and get online every morning right at 7 am to try and snag a night along with the 100 other people who have the same idea.
But Katie isn’t one to shy away for an adventure or a challenge. After waking up early for a few days in a row, she snagged 1 night. Katie and David were stoked.
Life went on and about 2 weeks later she jumped back on to see if anything was available (which NEVER happens) and she just happened to see two nights that someone had given up. After a small freak out moment, they jumped on them.
Turns out that getting the reservation was only half of the battle. Actually, getting to the lookout would be their next challenge. That’s because the last 2 miles of the 40-mile dirt road to get to the tower require a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, and well, David and Katie don’t have one. So they traded a few tires for this experience as well! With a little luck, they were able to make it to the top.
These two take their dog, Lucca (who is currently working on building her Instagram following - please give her a follow here), with them everywhere, and turns out, the stairs leading up to the platform are too steep to travel down with a dog. So how’d Lucca make it back down?
There happens to be a pulley system on one of the corners that allows you to bring up all your equipment without hauling it up the steps. So David and Katie used it in reverse to lower Lucca back down to Earth. They suspected that Lucca was NOT a fan of her ride, but she was a trooper and preferred it over the stairs. Watch the magic below. And, don't worry, Lucca is 100% fine... and can now add "master of flight" to her resume.
David and Katie say that the views from 50ft above a mountaintop are exquisite. Having the ability to make your dinner, listen to some music, and sip some wine while the sun sets all around you is an experience they’ll never forget. David says, “You’re surrounded by glass windows with a crystal-clear view of the mountains and beyond. It’s amazing.”
David says that his affinity for outdoor recreation and adventure started with a high school photography class. That class sent David on road trips that continually led to adventure and impressive photos. Perhaps inevitably, David found himself wanting to get closer to the locations in the viewfinder. So he moved from photography student to amateur hiking enthusiast, to avid mountain biker, to kayaking extraordinaire. Finally, all of those purchases and experiences led to a new job at REI where David learned to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and respectfully.
It didn’t take long for David to catch the travel bug. Every canyon and every desert hid some little treasure that he felt pulled to discover. Finding those unique places was a thrill that became a lifetime adventure that has never really stopped for him. Fortunately, he's found a lifetime adventure partner who is just as adventurous as he is!