Monday, September 16, 2013

A Summer To Remember

Reflecting back, the summer of 1973 was a “bildungsroman” -- or coming of age tale -- forever etched into my memory. For me, working as tour guide and boat operator at Crater Lake National Park was a dream come true, and certainly a summer to remember.

In hindsight, the experience enhanced my public speaking and public relations abilities, as well as my knowledge of the geology of the Cascades in general, and Mt. Mazama and Crater Lake in particular. My position also helped develop my knowledge of boating and seamanship, in addition to improving my skills as an angler.

Working seven days a week left little time for much else but eating and sleeping. But that didn’t deter us from having an active social life. As a result, we had an expression: “Every night is Friday night, so let’s party!” Of course, there were no Saturdays or Sundays to fall back on, so we burned through the days of summer like Roman candles. In addition to the 150 college students employed by Crater Lake Lodge, Inc., our group included another 100 or so young people employed by the National Park Service on trail crew, road crew and as naturalists.

A key advantage of the boat crew was our quarters, the old ranger dormitory adjacent to Park Headquarters. Summer romances were just about as common as the parties at Cabin 54 down in Sleepy Hollow, where seasonal Park Service employees resided just a few steps from boat crew headquarters.

Living three miles down from the rim in Munson Valley was very nice and quiet, unlike busy Rim Village.  Although I already knew at least a half dozen people or more from Portland, including good buddy Pat Taylor (below, right) and his girlfriend Tina SheIor, I befriended many more, including Chuck Risse (below, left).

Some of my favorite memories -- besides fishing -- included swimming in the Emerald Pool on Wizard Island, watching the “submarine races” at Cloud Cap (translation: make out sessions), date nights for dinner at Diamond Lake Lodge, moonlight boat cruises, and a bit of skullduggery at The Wineglass Bar, just to name a few.

As master of the underworld, I’m sure Llao would have approved of our shenanigans -- up to a point. As you can tell from the photo below, I spent almost as much time in the water as David Hasselhoff in Baywatch. It was as easy as falling off the bow of the boat.

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