On Monday, I thought I'd take it easier and do a shorter hike than I had originally planned. Besides, after seeing Hunter's fire tower, I had added "doing the fire towers" to my to-do list (yes, there is a patch).
The tower itself was closed, it being a weekday, but the stairs were open. However, the view from the top wasn't as impressive. The area around Hunter's tower is cleared, but not around Tremper's. The highlight of my trip came on the way back down. I was tromping downhill like a herd of elephants, as I'm wont to do when wearing boots, when there was a rustling noise up ahead. And there, behold, was a porcupine. It looked at me, I looked at it, and after I backed up a little farther it trundled off into the woods. Perhaps I was unreasonably excited by this, as I don't think they're rare or unusual, but I'd never seen a porcupine in its natural setting before.