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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park



<< 1984   1985   1986 >>


A new weather record is set for January with only 9 inches of snow being recorded. “It was truly a delightful winter month, almost like summer.”

Crater Lake freezes over during the month because of a combination between cold temperatures and the lack of storms. There seems to be more correlation between ice forming on the Lake because of the lack of wind than because of cold temperature. Any ice that has historically formed on the Lake is usually broken up by the wind before the total surface has a chance to freeze over.

Some claim the Lake totally iced over for a few days. When the first snow came, after the ice formed in January, 90% for the Lake was confirmed to be frozen. After a few days of snowy weather, only 25% for the surface was iced over. The Lake initially froze because of the stillness of the water. The January temperatures were not unusually cold. The thin skim of ice melted back because of the new snow’s weight forced the ice down and water crept up over the ice and melted it.

January 8

Ron Warfield, Chief of Park Interpretation, reports that the Lake has completely frozen over. R.J Michael of the Lodge Company disagreed. “Spotting the open water areas has been easier since Sunday night’s snowfall. Until Monday morning it was difficult to determine if the covering was skim ice. Now, however, obvious open areas can be seen around Wizard Island and elsewhere on the Lake.”

February 19

The Park Service attempts to move the date of the Crater Lake Rim Run to September. Congressman Bob Smith intervenes with Interior Secretary Hodel and the date is reestablished on August 10th. In an editorial blasting the idea of moving the Rim Run, the Herald and News says, “The Park Service should look hard at a management system which allows arbitrary and unjustified decisions on such long-standing events.”

February 19

The AP reports that the Park has installed a $30,000 satellite dish and cable system linking 26 homes and a giant screen T.V. in the Community Center. A preschool playroom with playground toys is set up on the second floor of the Community Building. Discussions continue about classifying Crater Lake as a hardship post.


John Lund, 52, P.O. Box 2126, Klamath Falls, becomes the oldest person to ski around Crater Lake, unaided, in seven hours. (John Day had a snow mobile running ahead laying track for his group.)


Marion Jack, a science teacher from Medford, “retires” after a record-setting 24 continuous summers as a road patrol ranger and supervisor. Marion also supplied the Park’s horse patrols for over 10 years.


Construction begins on a new parking lot and Lake viewpoint center at the North Junction. The 18 foot, 1934 vintage North Junction road is widened to 28 feet. The new Rim parking lot will cover 1/3 of an acre and hold 30 cars. The North Entrance Station is moved 0.8 miles north of it’s present to better line up with the 1980 boundary addition. Solar collectors are installed on the roof of the station to generation electricity for the station’s radios.


Twelve year-old Dana Jack, of Klamath Falls, falls into the Rogue River at Natural Bridge near Union Creek and survives with only minor injuries after being sucked through the quarter mile lava tube.

A clogged sewer line near Park Headquarters spill sewage into Annie Creek. People living along Annie Creek are warned to boil their water. (Oh no, not 1975 all over again!)

July 17

The Portland architectural firm of BOOR-A heads up a team of structural, electrical and mechanical engineers to determine if the 75 year old Crater Lake Lodge is worth saving. This $144,000 study will “be the final and definitive study that will help determine the Lodge’s fate.“ Congressman Jim Weaver says that all previous studies contained errors and biases and that the previous studies called for turning the Lodge into a building with “contemporary standards”. The new study will redefine “rustic standards”.


John Salinas, Lake researcher, finds that the Lake clarity has returned to 40 meters, almost equaling the 1969 record of 44 meters. Speculation continues as to why the Lake has clarity cycles. The nutrient rich spring flowing from an old sewer leach field beneath Rim Village remains suspect.

August 3

Ranger John Salinas discovers human ashes “not 20 feet from the Mt. Scott Trail, on saddle”. The plastic bag was removed. The label was posted into the Mt. Scott Lookout Log Book. “Cheri Mari Peterson, age 32, Place of death: El Centro, CA. Date of cremation: July 22, 1982. Mortician: Hems Brothers Mortuary, Frye Chapel and Mortuary Crematory, Brawley, CA 92227

August 10

The 10th Annual Crater Lake Rim Run is conducted under the watchful eye of a 7 member Rim Run observation team charged with the job of assessing the run’s impact on the Park. 310 runners participate.

6.7 miles Kenny White of Medford, Oregon   33.50
      Connie Reints of Bend, Oregon   42.35

13.0 miles Dave Trooesch    1:21.53
      Sidney Morrison    1:32.53

26.2 miles Toby Skinner    2:45.15
      Virginia Falkowski   3:19.11
      (breaking the previous record of  3:28.26)

August 10

Lee Juillerat and Ed Otterson, both of Klamath Falls, complete their 10th straight year of running the Rim Run. Portlander Ray Langston, 50, placing number 51, completes his 51st marathon in one year. Ray expects to run 58 marathons this year, with two days to spare. This will set a new running record. The Rim Run’s first wheel chair contestant, a woman, “wheeled” the 6.7 mile section, finishing number 48.

August 17

Secretary of the Interior, Donald Hodel, flies by helicopter to view the two controversial geothermal energy test drilling sites located on the east boundary of the Park. In a press conference, the secretary said he did not know whether a geothermal power plant could be compatible with the Park. “I’m confident that no activities will occur that will jeopardize the Park. “ The secretary also visits the old Lodge. The NPS has been forced to rethink plans to abandon the 75 year-old structure because of public outcry. Hodel said that he would prefer saving the building. “These kind of buildings have a place in the hearts of the people who visit the parks.”

August 17

A helicopter flies roof trusses to Wizard Island for a new research boat house. Because of volunteer help, the cost is held to $35,000. Thirty five men from the Medford Navy Seabee unit and a team of Student Conservation Association volunteers contribute over 2,000 hours of work worth $33,000. The new boat house will allow year-round Lake study and will include an emergency Lake shelter. Concern is still expressed about the loss of the Lake’s clarity.


The North Entrance Road is closed to all traffic to allow time for the road contractor to finish widening and repaving the road before the winter snow storms set in.


The Department of Energy reports that air visibility at Crater Lake Park is impaired by man-made smoke and dust for an average of about 4% of the time, during daylight hours, as compared with the Northern Cascades visibility being impaired up to 15 percent of the time.

The latest Lodge study reports that the renovation of the Lodge up to even “rustic” standards, keeping the same room sizes, etc., would cost $5.2 million. If the Lodge were brought up to modern standards, with larger rooms, the cost would be around $8.6 million.


Mail Tribune editorial writer, Richard Sept is invited to observe the annual Rim Run. He writes, “ I found the run was well organized and remarkable tidy. The road closures did not appear to cause problems. The run brings people into the park who appreciate its beauty and respect it special qualities. These runners might be generally deranged, but they are a most pleasant and sociable bunch. The 310 runners did not interfere with normal usage; they didn’t impair park services or pose any safety problems. They rather peacefully covered the formidable course, and they cleaned up carefully. Those who encountered them discovered courteous people who enjoy blue skies, clean air and nature’s beauty. The park should be lucky if all its visitors behaved as well.’

1985 Season

Visibility at Crater Lake is impaired by man-made smoke and dust an average of about 4 percent of the time during daylight hours, according to a recent study by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Season Visitation: 427,927

<< 1984   1985   1986 >>



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