December 3, 2011 - Mount Sterling is where it all began! It's hard to describe the feelings and thoughts that ran through my mind during that first tower climb. Rickety wooden stairs, a tiny cab being assaulted by the biting wind, and all 60-ft above the ground in a 76-year-old structure. It was terrifying, exhilarating, and ultimately inspiring! I knew this wouldn't be the last fire tower I would visit and that next time I would bring a friend or two. I'll never forget Mount Sterling and the new passion it ignited!

This was also a deeply spiritual experience, particularly as it was Advent at the time. I wrote an article about thoughts from that day on my blog: tinyurl.com/mountsterlingtower.

Note: As of December 2011, the park does not have restrictions against climbing this tower. The park does not endorse climbing, however. It was built in 1935, so if you decide to climb, you are climbing at your own risk! Don't climb if it's especially windy out or if there is snow and/or ice on the tower. I learned about this tower mostly from Peter J. Barr's book, Hiking North Carolina's Lookout Towers (amzn.to/lookouttowers).

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