The shorter and more climbable tower; up topside at night.
There's two in Sitka, both large. Some kind person has left a ladder near one so we were able to reach the main ladder which starts about 20ft up.The water tower atop Cherry Hill (actual name!) is shorter than the one next to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (torn down in 2001), and is more easily climbed,being in a wooded area rather than completely out in the open. It has been climbed many times, as seen by the ever-changing grafitti around it.[new stuff in '02 ;-) ] Local legend say's it's good luck to touch/kiss/etc the aircraft beacon light on top, but then someone stole it... the tower has a catwalk around the rim, and a second ladder and catwalk to the very top, where there's a locked hatch to the inside. It's rusty enough that one could probably break the hinges off with a pry bar, the lock is so old and rusty is would have to be cut rather than picked.
Unsafe ladders are fun for the whole family!
At the base of this tower is a small pump vault and three locked trailiers which house radio equipment for the many antennas atop the tower. The first time I tried to climb this tower I looked into the pipe vault briefly, but didn't climb the tower because our group's only camera chose that moment to fall down the manhole and break into about 3 pieces. The pics below were taken after duct-taping the camera back together to use up the film. The vault contains some intersting but dead valves and pipes, a totaly rusted electric heater that's still plugged in to a dead outlet, and the pipes leading up the main shaft to the tank. Interestingly enough there are two manholes into this vault, one round with the lid missing which has stepirons, and the other square which opens onto the top of a pipe. There is no way into the main shaft, which is too bad, as there seems to be enough room in it to chimney up between the walls and the pipes.
Inside the small utility vault under the water tower